Elizabeth is a mother of three children who are 3, 4, and 11 years old. Elizabeth suffers from pulmonary embolism which has caused blood clots in her right lung and restricts her mobility and ability to work. It’s a disease that has caused much financial burden to the Lorenzo family. Her husband Mateo does all he can to put food on the table, including taking side jobs after his regular shifts as a construction site runner.
Every Friday at 4 a.m., Elizabeth walks three city blocks to get a place in line at North Valley Caring Services’ (NVCS) food pantry. She sits and waits until 10 a.m. when the pantry doors open. Elizabeth has been coming to the pantry for over a year now and she has grown to depend on the pantry for her vegetables and fruits as well as snacks for her children to take to school. “There have been more than a few times that the pantry provided all of the food we had to eat for the week,” Elizabeth said. “With all the money that I spend on medications, I once felt such tremendous guilt because I could not provide for my kids. Now thanks to this food we get every week, I occasionally have money from time to time to take my kids to the movies or to do something nice for them.”
As community liaison of a grassroots organization, I have found myself working the NVCS Pantry door for two years now, and
I have been there when Elizabeth could barely walk through the door because of the pain that she was in. She would wince from pain. And when asked how she was doing she would always respond, “I’m here, so I am good.” Every time she exited the pantry, she would offer me a huge smile and say, “Thank you Mr. Manny. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed this community.”
I am fortunate to receive many accolades from my community because of NVCS’ food pantry. But the reality is that we could not serve this family if it were not for the generosity of the Valley Food Bank who provides us a large portion of the food that we put out in our pantry.
Submitted by Pastor Manny Flores, Community Liaison of North Valley Caring Services.