Truly Thankful for the Wakefield Food Pantry and our Wakefield Community

The Wakefield Community is extraordinarily generous in supporting the mission of the Wakefield Food Pantry. Dollars $$, food donations, food drives, innovative fundraising events, just to name a few. Businesses, athletes, music and art groups, schools, scouts, religious organizations, individuals, and families always find ways to make sure our neighbors in need don’t go hungry.  

Still, you may have wondered who are the guests who depend on the Pantry and on you?  One of our guests shared her story so that Wakefield friends would have one view of why our Pantry is critical to the well-being of the entire community.  These are real comments from a real guest, but anonymity is important, as it is an integral belief of the Pantry to provide services with privacy, dignity, and respect.

Anonymous Moments From a Neighbor In Need

  • I live paycheck to paycheck, but somehow and someway I manage to save enough for exactly $909 extra in my bank account.  Of course, my car breaks down and it will take $881 to fix it. Now, I have just $28 left for gasoline.
  • I’m at the RMV to purchase a $25 form pertaining to renewing an inspection sticker. I have money to pay in two forms, one part gift card and the other part cash. Sadly, the RMV clerk will not accept two forms of payment and that’s all I have for two weeks before I get my next paycheck. I’m told to come back with one form of payment only.  Abruptly and somewhat rudely, the clerk tells me to step aside. However, a kind man behind me in line comes forward and pays the $25 for me. 
  • A director of a program that helps our family asks if I’d like my child to be added to a holiday gift contributions list.  Again, faced with living paycheck to paycheck, I feel relieved and grateful for the gifts others who don’t even know my child is willing to give out of the goodness of their hearts and wallets.  I know parents volunteering for this effort and see them wrapping gifts with tears in their eyes knowing how much joy this will bring to many children. I pray to give back as soon as I am in a position to do it.
  • I am at a lunch counter with my child and apologize to the clerk as I do not have enough credit on my debit card to pay for the menu item my child wants at the snack bar.  Now, I must apologize to my son for the embarrassment and make him the standard pasta with butter when we arrive home. Talk about being humiliated.
  • I don’t have enough money to get gas to go to work so call in sick until the payment is direct-deposited into my account for gasoline and tolls.  Luckily, I am able to work from home one day and don’t miss out on a day’s pay. 
  • I am filling out every financial aid form to try to get my child into a discounted summer camp.  If my child can get into the camp, I can continue to work to bring in much-needed money. At this camp, I’ll know that my child has safe daycare coverage and guidance.  I’ll know my child is not at home alone, bored and sad while I’m at work. I want to offer my child experiences to support self-esteem and learn to have a full life with many experiences.
  • With permission, I am picking through a lost and found station to find clothes my child can use; thank goodness for the donated clothing.
  • I have a choice between itching to death or paying for allergy medications.  Itching wins, but I am thankful for oatmeal baths.
  • I come home to no electricity or heat because medical co-pays had to be paid first or no more therapy for my child.  The electric stove is off, and it’s summertime. I can grill a supper. Sadly, there is no propane in the tank. I am lucky enough due to the kindness of a neighbor to offer their propane…we had hotdogs! 
  • I am racing to the Wakefield Food Pantry during work hours.  I made it on my lunch break, but I find a long line of people waiting, but luckily the Pantry hasn’t closed.  I quickly get the food, toilet paper, and other necessities to put away at home. I drive back to work in a hurry as I have been gone too long from my job. Yet, I am so thankful I have a job to return to. 
  • I am often asked to attend an event (religious ceremony, wedding, school parent night events, baby shower), but must decline as I cannot afford the cost of a babysitter, gift and gasoline.  I use many excuses for why I cannot attend, but I am always grateful to be invited.

I could go on and on and I’m sure there are worse struggles for more people, but again I thought I’d share if it can help in any way.  God bless our Food Pantry. The Pantry team is always a source of dedicated support and caring.  

From:  Anonymous, Always Smiling and Thankful

Our guest is a single mother and is grateful to have a job, a home, health, and a great school system and community.  She does not look for sympathy, but for sharing how difficult it can be for a single parent with a single paycheck to care for a young child and ailing parents.  She is sharing because she wants you to know that the support and generosity from our community and the Wakefield Food Pantry have made a huge difference in her life and the lives of her loved ones.  She is truly appreciative of it all.

Maureen Miller, Executive Director, Wakefield Food Pantry.