Rural seniors grateful for Mobile Pantry

elderly couple shoppingMaking ends meet as a retiree is hard in this economy, especially if you live in a remote area where grocery stores are limited and food prices are high. Mabel is one of our clients living in the rural Ash Fork area with her husband and grandson.

After a career in the non-profit sector while raising nine children, Mabel now stretches an income of just $500 to keep her family fed and clothed. For years, Mabel has been involved with food banks as both a volunteer and a coordinator, but now she finds herself in the position of having to rely on the food bank to help her. Once a month she benefits from the St. Mary’s Mobile Pantry at Kaibab Estates West, with the fresh produce and meat helping to stretch her food budget. The mobile pantry is even more important in her rural area because the closest grocery store to her home is just a well-stocked gas station with exorbitant grocery prices.

“It can be up to $4 for white bread!” Mabel shared. “If you want cheaper bread you have to drive [20 miles] to the Safeway in Williams to get a $1 loaf. And that’s just bread. The meat and produce St. Mary’s sends is essential!”

Mabel is so grateful for the food boxes we bring once a month, using them to make her grandson nutritious meals. But for Mabel the mobile pantry means more than just the food she receives herself – she sees how important it is for the people in her community. Incomes in that area are rarely higher than $900 a month, she said. Unfortunately, many people in Arizona face similar challenge, which is why St. Mary’s Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry program is continually expanding to reach these remote areas to provide food to people in need. To learn more about our Mobile Pantries, click here.

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