Letxy arrives at the pantry early. She says hello to her fellow volunteers, ties on an apron and gets to work. She loads up her station with fresh dairy products — milk, eggs and sour cream. Then she goes outside to talk to people waiting in line. She greets them by name, hugs them and asks them how their week is going.
“Some people have never been in a pantry before. It takes them everything they have to walk through that door. My life is no different. I’m just like them. We’re all human.”
Letxy knows what it’s like to ask for help. Her family gets a food box. “The dinner I made tonight is from food I got from the pantry.” Tonight her family will enjoy brown rice with rosemary and sweet potatoes with brown sugar and butter.
Letxy loves to cook, and she is resourceful. She recently took a six-week Cooking Matters class sponsored by FFLC. She learned how to cook with spices, how to make hummus, how to read nutrition labels and how to cook with what she has.
“We all learned new things. Now when I get apples, I make apple butter and apple rings. I dry or freeze a lot of food because we can’t eat it fast enough. I use rosemary and oregano more than ever before. I always use fresh garlic. I steam my vegetables now. I used to microwave them. I learned to massage kale. My family loves my chicken fried steak. It’s cheap. I bake a lot in the winter to heat the house up. It’s cheaper than turning the heat on.”
“Of course the value is in feeding people because you can’t expect people to effect changes in their lives if they’re hungry.”
Marion Sweeney, FFLC donor and volunteer