Winter makes getting groceries harder

donna and stephen banner

January 19, 2017 By: JT Pinther Category: SHH News

Donna used to volunteer five days a week tutoring kindergartners at a school in South Minneapolis, but reduced her time to three days a week. “I need to have someone with my husband while I’m gone,” Donna said.

Her passion is helping kids. Her whole life, Donna said, she’s been volunteering with young kids to teach them essential skills. “I help them learn how to read,” Donna said. “I read, write and draw with them. I enjoy the work!”

For ten years, Donna’s husband Stephen worked at a food shelf in Minneapolis, but had to quit because his dementia and auto immune disease became too much to keep up with. His wife Donna serves as one of his primary caregivers.

While juggling being a caregiver and a tutor, Donna also constantly has to think about transportation and mobility. When it comes to something as important as getting groceries, this can be a challenge. “We have no car,” Donna said, “and we use scooters outside of the home.”

“My husband’s on oxygen,” Donna said, “and we have to watch the amount of time we’re gone and take oxygen tanks with us.”

As an example, Donna added that during warmer months, she can get to the school where she volunteers with her scooter in about ten minutes. During the winter, she said it can take up to an hour for the transportation service to get her to the campus.

Even with help, Donna and Stephen struggle sometimes to get access to the food they need to be healthy and well. “We have [Personal Care Assistants], but they aren’t always there when you need groceries,” Donna said.

It eventually came time for them to sign up for the assistance and knew of a local food shelf that offered a grocery delivery program. Without it, Donna said, it would be much more difficult to get the meals they need.

“I’m glad [Second Harvest Heartland] can help the elderly,” Donna said. “They are great people!”

For some, a grocery delivery program means the difference between having access to food in the winter and being hungry. Programs like this can make all the difference, and one of the ways to make this possible is through Monthly Giving. For the winter and all year long, you can help people like Donna and Stephen get groceries.


**To protect the identities of our clients, names have been changed. 


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