Upon being injured in a car accident and losing her job, Georgette turned to the Westmoreland County Food Bank for assistance with feeding her family. She was grateful for the support and kindness that she was shown when attending the food pantry at St. Margaret Mary in Lower Burrell where she also began to volunteer. Additionally, Georgette was able to benefit from the Food Bank’s Super Cupboard Program which is offered in partnership with Penn State Nutrition Links. This unique five-week program serves families with children under the age of 20 receiving food from local pantries and demonstrates how to prepare nutritional and appetizing meals with the items they typically receive in the monthly food box.
How have you been affected by hunger?
I was hit by a drunk driver and lost my job that I had for 20 years. This meant no income. I was devastated. Where do you turn? I was denied food stamps because we were above income requirements, but we still had to choose between prescriptions, backpacks, shoes, bills, and lastly food. My husband is the best provider, but he is only one person taking care of six people and household pets. The Food Bank was a blessing. It provided us the extra care we needed to get through each month.
How has the Westmoreland County Food Bank impacted your life?
At first I was embarrassed and ashamed to ask for help. When you meet the people who run the food pantry, they make you feel so comfortable. It helped us get through a low point. I fell in love with the people and the church so I became a volunteer. The Westmoreland County Food Bank also offered classes to learn to make budget meals. I am so grateful for this service. When you have a large family, every little bit helps. I love to volunteer. It makes me feel that I can give back.
What would you tell someone who may be thinking about donating to the Food Bank?
Everyone can become affected by hunger whether it is due to loss of a job, injury due to an accident, etc. I was one of those people who never thought it would happen to me or my family. If you are thinking about donating, know there are people out there that are worse off than us. I am blessed, others are not so fortunate. It is nothing to be ashamed of we all need help from time to time. We should try to help these people who are our neighbors across the street, down the road, etc. It is a blessing to give just to see the smile on someone’s face.