Friday, February 14, 2014

52 Stories, 52 Weeks: 'This pantry is keeping me alive'

Linda Garcia has been receiving food from the St. Francis Xavier Church food pantry since she lost her job in sales.
On a bitterly cold Tuesday morning in La Grange, Linda Garcia was waiting in line at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church’s food pantry 30 minutes before the doors opened. She pulled her coat closer and put her hands in her pockets.

“I’m severely diabetic, so when I don’t have enough food, I get really sick,” she said. “This pantry is literally keeping me alive.”

Linda, 63, has been coming to St. Francis Xavier for nearly two years, since she lost her job in sales and soon after got sick. She receives $720 per month in Social Security, but most of that is used for rent and utilities. With an extremely tight budget, she needs help affording the essentials that her diet requires.

“When you’re diabetic, you have to eat healthy,” she said. “But I can’t afford fruit, vegetables or meat at the grocery store, so it’s difficult.”

At the SFX Food Pantry, Linda receives the nutritious food she needs to stay healthy and manage her diabetes – strawberries, bananas, potatoes, carrots, chicken and more.

“The pantry makes sure that I have enough to eat,” she said. “This place and the Food Depository are saving people’s lives. You’re really helping.”

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