Seventy-six-year-old Ann lives on a fixed income in a Newburyport subsidized housing complex. Laid low by a long convalescence, Ann was unable to afford the healthy food necessary for her to recover and stay strong.
“A year and a half ago, I had major surgery with complications, which put me into a rehabilitation facility. So I had less money for food, and it was harder and harder to make ends meet. I needed help, but I was afraid of being judged. Besides, I never thought I’d qualify for food stamps.
“Finally, I reached out to my local Council on Aging, and they connected me with The Greater Boston Food Bank’s SNAP coordinator. I can’t tell you how different the experience was from what I’d feared. I thought it would feel punitive and judgmental. Instead, I felt completely understood and encouraged. The coordinator was a godsend. She helped me with the complicated paperwork to apply for SNAP benefits. But it wasn’t just what she did, it was how she did it—efficiently, but with kindness.”