Hunger Stories: Sarah
Through her share of difficult times, Sarah sits up straight and her eyes sparkle when she speaks of the many gifts she receives. She knows her faith has kept her alive through heart surgeries, stints and strokes, yet Sarah’s enthusiasm belies her health.
After a car accident and a stroke in 2009, Sarah moved from Kansas to Tulsa where her son could help take care of her. Eventually, she qualified for the Cherokee Nation to help get housing. As a result of that, she no longer qualified for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) benefits. However, living in Tulsa County she couldn’t receive food assistance from the tribe. After her son moved, and with deteriorating health, Sarah had no way to put food on the table.
Sarah acknowledges, “The only way I can get food is through food pantries.” She is grateful for the people at the Crosstown Church of Christ, a Partner Program of the Food Bank. She regrets how she used to act toward people in her situation. She shared a story from many years ago. Sarah was driving and saw a person standing by a roadside with a sign asking for food. She remembers rolling down her window and telling him to get a job. She now regrets that action, knowing that there are many reasons people go hungry.
“I know so many people who are working hard at low-income jobs and they just don’t have enough for the whole month.” She also recognized the many people with mental health issues, older folks who can’t work and don’t have families to help, and people like herself, who have debilitating health issues and are unable to work.
With everything Sarah has experienced she remains positive. She consistently speaks of her faith and her blessings. For instance, she has a neighbor who purchases dog food for her so she can keep her pet. Her neighbor also brings her to the food pantry at the Crosstown Church of Christ where volunteers provide her with food and bring groceries to the car. “Because of the food pantry, I’m able to make it. I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of people. I want everyone to know that you are blessed for giving.”