After working his entire life, Bob retired a few years ago and gets by solely on social security—which is often difficult with the cost of living in Massachusetts. Living alone and on a fixed income, Bob struggles to make ends meet.
“These times are tough. I run into quite a few people who have financial problems because their retirement income doesn’t match what their expenses are,” he said.
About three years ago while speaking to a neighbor, Bob learned about a Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) program in a church in his hometown of Taunton. For the last three years Bob has been getting healthy food at GBFB’s Brown Bag distribution there. He said it makes a big difference in his life.
“I’d essentially have to go without food if I didn’t have this,” Bob said. “I live alone, and the rent is a huge expense. If this wasn’t here, the alternative would be to go without.”
Once a month, volunteers distribute bags of nutritious food from GBFB to seniors in need at the Brown Bag. GBFB operates 15 Brown Bag sites across Eastern Massachusetts reaching 6,450 senior households every month.
According to Bob, the food at the Brown Bag usually lasts him about two weeks.
“I can make ends meet, but it’s difficult some months when you have unexpected expenses like car repairs or medicine,” he said. “It’s overwhelming at times when you don’t have the resources to fall back on.”
Bob said the best part about the market is how fresh all the food is. He said items like vegetables, chicken and grains are his favorites.
“It’s not an obligation for anybody to do this,” Bob said about the people who operate the Brown Bag. “So, I’m very grateful.”