A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit one of our partner feeding programs, The Woodbury Pantry. This incredible agency distributes 10,000 pounds of food that they pick up from Second Harvest Food Bank every Monday. That day, I had the pleasure of meeting a vibrant 73 year old woman named Cordie.
I noticed her right away. She walked slow and steady with a walker but had a big smile on her face and bright blue eyes. As she walked up to receive her number to receive food she stopped and said hello to every person she passed. Everyone knew Cordie, and I knew I wanted to know her too.
I sat down with her and we began talking. She told me that she was there to pick up food for her family of 4. Her and her three great grandkids ages 14, 11, and 8. She says that the kids keep her young but it is a struggle to make ends meet on her limited and fixed income. Her husband died over a year ago so it is just her and the little ones now. Cordie doesn’t just come to Woodbury for the food, but for companionship too. This community has helped her through many trying times.
I asked Cordie if she ever had to skip any meals in order to feed her great grandchildren. She then asked me “You ever have air puddin”? Of course I had no idea what she was talking about so I asked. She told me with tears in her eyes, “Air puddin’ is a game I play with my great grandkids when we are hungry. I grab a bowl and a spoon and pretend to eat the world’s most delicious pudding. It helps to trick us into thinking we have eaten.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want to live in a world where this kind senior and her beautiful great grandkids have to eat pretend food in order to feel full. Luckily, she found The Woodbury Pantry where the food is abundant and fresh. She knows she can always find something that the kids will like and a special treat for her. Cordie says she hasn’t had to eat air puddin’ in a while and is so grateful to the generous staff and volunteers that make sure the food comes every Monday.
I watched Cordie shuffle down the line in her walker as she hugged every person who put an item of food her in basket as they greeted her by name. I know as much as we are helping Cordie…she is helping us too.