Back to the Beginning: Food Assistance (posted Jan. 21, 2009)


I did go to another food source last week, the people were very kind, it’s not chaotic like the other place, they have quiet cubicles where they take your information, ask what you’d like in your food basket and put it together for you. How they care for us and the time they take, now that is ministry.

The gentleman who helped me had to write down the deal of being able to get what they call food baskets and then commodities. I couldn’t understand it. I thought I could only go to one place each month, get a food basket and have to make that last for a month!

I spent several days making a huge (I mean huge!) batch of burritos using everything in the cupboards, rolling them up in tortillas and freezing them. I’m allergic to wheat flour, so it’s not an optimal situation, but survival.

This man explained each place can give me a food basket once a month, so in essence, I can have three food baskets. Then, once a week, I can go collect what they call commodities. From what I understand those commodities are just a handful of items.

He understood my confused state because his wife has Alzheimer’s, and he didn’t seem to mind writing it down.

That did help for a time, however, I ended up confused again when I went to the original food bank I signed up with a couple weeks ago. I went yesterday morning to get commodities and pet food.

It was crowded, parking was difficult, way more crowded than I anticipated, the wait was long and almost couldn’t handle the commotion, movement, noise. Some times we Brain Injured get agitated with too much stimuli, since I was already so dog tired, I shut down. Honestly, I thought of crossing my name off the list and leaving!

I couldn’t completely let my brain go into suspend mode because I had to be aware of when the called my name.

I was called back with another woman and we go through the warehouse and are asked if we want the things they offer or not. It’s crazy, the time we got back there I had forgotten everything I came for!

When we got to the end he asked if we wanted any commodities, thoroughly confused and overwhelmed, we’d just filled up a box for me to take home. Jiminy! Did I just get another food basket?

It took all I had to thank him and drive myself back home and put the perishables away. I was so exhausted I had to rest!

I am tremendously grateful for the produce I was given this time, maybe I need to go early in the week first thing in the morning for that. Because I juice for myself and my dog who has Cancer, I can’t begin to express what a relief produce is! I kept thanking God! We haven’t juiced in over a month!

My monthly food allotment is only $14.00 and that’s not stretching far at all. Last week I put a lot of groceries for my dog and I on my credit card. It was nice to be able to have milk again! And I won’t have to worry about running out of dog food for a time either, which because of her Cancer, her diet is more restricted and healthier than would otherwise be. All things considered, for the aggressive type of Cancer she has, she is still doing very well. I am grateful.

From what I understand my food benefits will increase beginning next month to $36.00, and that is very helpful. I think the change of my own diet from healthy to processed foods is slowing me down and working against me. I’ve never done well, even in my college days, trying to survive off of fake foods.

I am grateful for the food assistance and food banks. I think I simply do best with fruits, veggies, protein, and no wheat flour!

Something that man said at the other food bank, besides his understanding Alzheimer’s, stayed with me. He said, “Anyone making an honest effort, there’s help for.” That touched my heart and fed my starving spirit.

Spiritual food, compassion, understanding, and encouragement, rare commodities for us folks with Brain Injury. The outlook is not always so bright for us. It was nice, to have a spring in the desert, even if for only a moment.

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About Resilient Heart

TBI x3, that's me! If you had a Traumatic Brain Injury (or Injuries!) and knew you might not remember dates, events, people, etc., would you live each day differently? Would you give more, forgive more, heal more? I am. The statistics for me developing Dementia or Alzheimer's is a high possibility - one, because of the TBIs, and two - because I'm genetically predisposed. Come with me as this present moment is all we know we have... Wishing you all the best - today & always. Blessings, Love & Peace, RH
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