Many people believe that those who are in poverty are either born into it or are lazy—but that’s not always the case. Virginia, 57, and her husband were employed full-time. She was doing inventory for high-end retailers. Between the two of them, they were able to buy their own house and were living a pretty comfortable life. However, it was in the year 2001 that everything dramatically changed for Virginia.
In 2001, Virginia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to undergo a mastectomy followed by a lengthy and extensive treatment. Virginia said, “I could not go back to work. My doctor told me to choose between my job and my life.” The company she worked for wanted her to return, but she did not. “I had to choose my life.”
Not long after, her husband went in for open heart surgery and unfortunately passed away during the operation. Virginia’s world really began to fall apart. To be able to make ends meet, she was forced to sell her home and had to move in with her mother.
As a result of her cancer and chemotherapy, she is now on permanent disability, which provides her with $624 a month. Virginia is a proud woman, but has put that pride aside, acknowledging she has come to depend on the “kindness of others to help me.” She states that, “without the help of the Food Bank, I would not be able to live.”
Virginia is extremely grateful for the food she receives, saying, “This really helps. This is very, very essential for a person with low means. It is essential for your nutrients to be able to live, and without the help I would not have anything to eat.” After paying $600 in rent of her total $624, this leaves her with a mere $24 that usually only buys her soap, shampoo, and other daily necessities that those who aren’t struggling seem to take for granted.
“Without this help, I would not be able to survive. Right here in this country there are a lot of people like me who were hard workers and had a husband, that have family, that don’t have the means to buy anything. The work that the FoodBank is doing is helping people like me survive.”
As a client of the Community Assistance Pantry, Virginia is able to receive her groceries for free at a local food pantry supplied by the Community FoodBank of NJ on a weekly basis to allow her to be able to afford other necessities. Because Virginia relies so heavily on the donations made to CFBNJ, it’s incredibly important for us that we donate regularly to the FoodBank to make sure that everyone can go to bed with food in their stomach.
Donating just 1 box of food can help feed an entire family dinner and donating only $1 can help provide between $8-11 worth of food for a family. Help us help others.