Thursday, August 06, 2009
More and more people are showing up at Foodbanks for food, even affluent neighborhoods are beginning to show up at foodbanks. One of my jobs is the market job, and it is true that people are showing up in nice clothes asking me about the Foodbanks, and how to get foodstamps and about Dollar Stores and our Dollar section. Our market has a section of Dollar Goods, Bakery and Produce. There are people that come every day and check those sections. ( Click the title to read the Huffington Post article about Food Banks).
I have one such elderly couple that come to the market, Ed and Iris, they have been married over 60 years, they live in a beautiful house, a mansion five blocks away from me. They come every other day to the market and buy bakery goods and produce. If soup or rice goes on sale I show them, and if chicken goes on sale I show them that as well. I found out where they lived walking the dog one night. I saw them going inside after a walk, it is a massive old mansion, yet inside all the art has been removed and there is minimal furniture.
I talked to Ed that night as I slowly walked the dog, Iris stood by , slightly glazed and teary eyed hair neatly coifed and in a lavendar sweat suit. She asked if she could go in, he said yes, he would be in shortly to make tea. He explained that every night he reads to her or they play checkers and have tea and a snack. He explained that she had a mini Stroke in the winter, and she has been fragile since then. I nod. I stand looking at their beautiful mansion, the Tudor home that has been well taken care of for so long, with the For Sale Sign out front. He says that it has been for sale since 2007. He explains that they have lost alot of invested money in the past year, I nod. I nod that I understand, but do I ? I don't think I do. He keeps talking, saying that he owned a car dealership and invested well, but that in the past few years it all went wrong. He said he was glad he could sell the art and the jewels when he did, that it has kept them alive. He says he feels bad that Iris does not know, he told her that he put alot of it in storage. I say, "Good bye, See you at the market."
So I keep a little bit of change on me when I work....because I know that that extra money will help someone get soup or some apples or maybe even cake.....
Ed said something that haunts me, " I remember the Depression. I was a child, but I remember. And some of this feels familiar."