The Story of a Provider

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas

The gas station just cut my hours, and the hospital my wife was a nurse at became a physically violent place, so I’ve had to go back to the food bank. Since we’re only working part time, I don’t make enough money with Social Security to feed us, really. We eat pretty simply. We don’t eat out at all, but that’s okay because I like to cook.

It’s not just about having money to buy food. It’s about having money to buy the right kind of food. My wife and I try to eat fruits and vegetables, you know, a balanced diet. We don’t eat a lot of meat. My wife is not a vegetarian, not a vegan, but she’s pretty darn close, I guess you could say.

We have two neighbors on either side of us about our age. When I’m cooking breakfast for two of us, it’s just easier to cook for four, you know? So I do that and I help my neighbors out. One of our neighbors is diabetic and he went into a coma. I had to call 911 on him three times in two weeks. He’s in assisted living now. He can’t taste and he’s got diabetes, so it’s really hard on him. He got down to like 90 pounds and that’s really why I started taking him food. The guy was wasting away.

I don’t know if it’s winter related, but my wife and I have both been going through some depression kind of stuff, so your appetite kind of changes, you know? One of the problems I have had is that I’m hungry a lot, but I can’t think of anything that sounds good. I’m really hungry, but sometimes I just can’t eat, which is not good. But we eat pretty simply.

It’s kind of humiliating for me to come to the food bank. But a person has to eat.

As told to Hannah Gordon

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