A Hand-Out Is Okay, but a Hand Up Is Better
Dora’s life was pretty comfortable. She had a job she loved, caretaking for kids with autism. For 28 years, Dora picked up sweets and bread from Cub to deliver it to the kids at her work. “I’d fill up my car completely and empty it,” Dora said.
One day in April, Dora was driving through an intersection when another driver went through a red light and T-boned Dora’s car. Dora was thrown from her seat and into a tree.
She spent five days in the hospital for her injuries, which included significant nerve damage, three broken ribs and a collapsed lung. “Two years,” Dora said. “It will take two years for everything to heal.”
Dora’s only income now is social security, which sends her $970 per month. When she’s made payments on her medical bills from the accident and the medications she needs to heal, there isn’t much money left for things like food.
When she heard about the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Dora knew that was just what she needed and reached out to Second Harvest Heartland.
CSFP participants like Dora receive a large box of nutritious food that will help get them through the month.
“[Second Harvest Heartland] helped me out mentally, physically and put food in my belly.”
Despite financial, physical and emotional hardship, Dora is holding her head high.
“It is a beautiful world,” Dora said. “I consider myself poor, [but] I love everything I do—I love that I’m alive and can make everything better.”
“I’ve had things that have happened in my life, both good and bad. It has always worked out for the good,” Dora said.
She added that life has kept her humble, and she understands the importance of always caring for and helping others. “A hand-out is okay, but a hand up is better,” Dora said. She feels Second Harvest Heartland has given her just that. “Me coming to Second Harvest Heartland has been a blessing.”
Although CSFP is federally funded for the most part, there are nutrition education components that Second Harvest Heartland pays for out of pocket. Almost every box given to seniors in our community has extra dairy, deli and produce items added in addition to the federally mandated, already-nutritious foods. Overall, there are 250 sites where seniors pick up their boxes, and Second Harvest Heartland has strategically placed at least one or two sites in every county we serve in Minnesota to maximize the reach and accessibility to food that many seniors need to live well.
Many people in the heartland are just one unexpected car crash or one work injury away from needing help. When you donate $30 today, you’ll ensure someone just like Dora is fed for the rest of the year.
**To protect the anonymity of our clients, a representative photo has been used.