Yesterday I sent out an email blast to all the current and past recipients of the Fresh Food Weekly meal box delivery program and asked if anyone would be interested in talking to me about some of the struggles they’re facing, and if so, I would share their story on social media, to help people become more aware of what life is actually like for thousands of Canadians.
I’m starting to realize that most of us are simply not aware of what is going on in our own backyards. I just got off the phone with a 74-year-old woman who left me in tears. Her husband died 11 years ago and he owned a successful glass window installation company in Mississauga. Their son ended up taking advantage of her financially after her husband passed and this is not the first time I’ve heard of adult children taking advantage of a vulnerable parent. He left her with nothing and now she’s living on a pension that doesn’t give her enough to eat or pay for necessary medical expenses.
In her response to my email blast, this is what she had to say:
“Life is a struggle and being 74, I wonder some days even why? It’s so sad when you need a pneumonia shot – which is $150 because you’re over 70 (if I were 70 or under, the shot would be covered), and to get a shingles shot is $185 and I need two of those. But I can’t afford to get any. How can one protect themselves?
To feel that you have to go to a food bank just so you can eat. I try so hard and pay my rent and pay so I can have TV. It’s sad because I don’t let anyone know how bad things get. I try and smile and say everything is okay. I don’t go out anywhere and I don’t drink – I just live from day to day. And when I can get to the food bank, I’m so thankful to get some food but it’s never enough. My one thing that gives me joy is my pup. She is nine-years-old and I cannot bare to part with her, even though I know it would save me a bit more money but I love her so much. I rescued her eight years ago but when you’re this lonely, I believe she’s the who’s rescued me. I know there are so many who are worse off than me and I wish I could help them out.
I wish everyone well and some joy in their life. Thank you for all the good you do for so many.”
On the phone, she told me she emailed Doug Shipley but got no response. “There’s gotta be somebody who can help”, she said as she started crying.
But there isn’t help for her. Her husband isn’t around anymore and her son is the reason why she’s in this position. Obviously I’ve put her on the meal box program.
I normally don’t publicly talk about my faith because I know so many people who dislike Christians, and often for good reasons too. I am a Christian but like so many, I’ve met a lot of self-righteous hypocrites who do nothing but stick their noses up. One of my biggest donors from last summer actually told me he hates Christians and he’ll never step foot in a church again. These were his words exactly – they’re literally seared into my brain.
But I’m just going to come out and say it, James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Where is the church!? Why are so many of our neighbours suffering!? Our government isn’t helping the widowed and our politicians certainly aren’t lifting a single one of their well-manicured fingers!
If I could raise enough money to feed 300 families a month, I would. Three hundred households in Barrie are on the wait list for a meal box this month and everyday I hear their stories. There isn’t enough help out there and the amount of unnecessary suffering is awful to witness.
If you’re reading this right now, and you are in a position to sponsor a low-income family in Barrie, please send me a PM because it turns out that a simple meal box is all it takes to improve a person’s quality of life. It’s not just the food that helps, it’s also knowing that someone cares enough to do something about it that gives them relief.
Thank you for taking the time to read another one of my lengthy posts, and thank you to everyone who has already donated. Your kindness is actually changing people’s lives. ❤️🩹