In 2022, we provided food for 206,433 meals to 6,269 families in the greater Auburn area who do not earn enough to cover housing, transportation, food, and/or medical expenses. Our guests include seniors living on a fixed income, single-parent families, low-income families, disabled individuals, veterans, and those who are homeless (13.1%). Last year, 1,800 children under age 10 received food from the Food Closet.
We make a difference by providing three days of nutritious food monthly per person in the family. We teach individuals to prepare healthier recipes using the meat, milk, eggs, potatoes, carrots, onions, produce from local gardeners, and canned/packaged foods that we provide.
SOME OF THE FAMILIES WE HAVE HELPED
The Sacramento Bee reported that many families have about $1,000 in their bank account and as result, they are ill-equipped when an emergency strikes, such as a major repair or a health issue. The stories below illustrate some of the situations we have heard about from the families who have visited us.
Here are some stories about people we have helped
Marissa came to the Food Closet for the first time on Wednesday. She is 22 years old, homeless, and
several months pregnant. A High School graduate, she studied nursing at Sierra College for 2 years, until
she fell on hard times and was not able to afford tuition any longer. She has been homeless for over 2
years, living out of cars. She worked a McDonald’s for a while. She was abused by her former boyfriend,
the father of her baby. She has signed up for CalFresh and Medicaid benefits, but food is scarce and she
is worried for her unborn baby. She found the Food Closet online, and is very grateful for the food and
the kindness she has received from us.
Alisha is 34 years old, she is the sole breadwinner for a family of 11, including 7 children – 5 kids under the age of 10. Needless to say, they live on a very low income. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), who got her CNA degree at Kash College in Auburn, and she works in a facility that takes care of older people. She manages her budget, and the food for her household very carefully, and is grateful for what she receives from us, and also from other local food pantries. She likes coming to AIFC because of the kindness of the team, of the quality of food we give out, and for the additional items she receives, including toiletries and baby diapers.
Grace is 32 years old, she is married to Casey, and they have 3 daughters – Lilly (14), Nattalie (11) and Chloey (9). They live in Foresthill. Grace is a certified Medication Technician, working with patients in hospice or dementia care. In January, she sustained a severe wrist injury, that damaged her bones, nerves and tendons. She therefore cannot work, as she cannot use her left arm/hand at all. She is not receiving disability benefits at this time. She has her old job lined up for when her doctor clears her for returning to work, which may take several more months. She has applied for CalFresh benefits, but her case has not yet been reviewed. Her husband is a self-employed yard maintenance worker, and has low/irregular income which is earmarked first to pay the rent and utilities on their home. The past few months have been very hard for this family, and they really need the food they receive at AIFC. She is extremely grateful for the support and kindness she experiences when she comes through our doors.
Rachelle came to AIFC for the first time today, as there was no food in the house where she lives with her mother (73), her daughter and her boyfriend (who recently lost his job). Finances are so tight that they have been living without hot water since November. She is so grateful for the food she received today. She mentioned that she found everyone at AIFC to be very warm, kind and welcoming.
Jim and Millie are both 75, they recently retired, and live on a low fixed income. With the increases in rent, and medical insurance, and other expenses, they have a hard time making ends meet. This winter they could not heat their house. At times, they have to choose between buying food and getting their medications. They are very grateful to AIFC for the food they receive and the friendly atmosphere we provide. Millie enjoys our recipes, and she has tried several of them at home. They used to donate generously to non-profits, including AIFC and the Salvation Army, but now they have to be on the receiving end. They mentioned it is easier to give than to receive!
Brandon is a single dad to two children – Olivia (7) and Eli (3). As a self-employed contractor, his income is irregular, and at times, the cupboards are bare. He loves the nutritious food he gets at AIFC, and the recipes we provide. He is very thankful for the help he receives.