Last week, one of our favorite shoppers at the Laguna Food Pantry reappeared after being gone for quite a while. When I asked where he’d been, he said that he had found a little part-time work.
“But still, why didn’t you come in on one of the days you weren’t working?”
“Because I didn’t think it was fair to take food from families that need it more.” Conversations like this one reoccur regularly.
I share this story because many residents ask me if people who can afford to shop at grocery stores are merely taking advantage of the pantry’s free food. This rarely if ever happens. Our shoppers are among the most honest, dignified, gracious people I’ve known. Many of them had challenging careers that simply disappeared in 2008. These individuals had always given to charities, not taken from them. Others lost minimum-wage jobs and remain unemployed despite endlessly submitting applications.
Please, encourage neighbors who are going through difficult times to visit the pantry. We pride ourselves on our cheerful atmosphere and welcoming attitude. We provide weekly groceries to anyone who asks for them because we believe that no one should go hungry. www.lagunafoodpantry.org
Andy Siegenfeld, Laguna Beach