Needing to go to a food pantry is an interesting experience, on several levels. I’m very thankful that such forms of assistance exist within my community.
Unfortunately, stereotypes seem to exist about the types of individuals who might find themselves needing such forms of help. Going to a food pantry doesn’t mean that you are lazy, unmotivated to find a job, or simply looking for a easy handout.
My elderly mother and I regularly go to a local food pantry. She is a widow, living on a very fixed income. I’m a very well-educated woman who receives social security disability benefits, since I’m no longer able to work full-time.
My current income is a mere fraction of my former salary. Honestly, it isn’t sufficient to meet my basic needs. It’s extremely humbling to find yourself needing to enter the doors of a food pantry.
When I did so, I signed in at the entrance, per the food pantry’s requirements. I didn’t feel confortable signing in as a doctor, however. Attending a food pantry is an overt reminder that we are no longer as self-sufficient as we used to be (or perhaps perceived that we were).
It’s especially uncomfortable when your external appearance still suggests that you are able-bodied, and capable of working. However, what you see isn’t always what you get. Just some food for thought.