Meals or Bills? Mom Affords Both with Fresh For All
Letitia is a single mom who suffers from epilepsy, a disorder that causes seizures. Although she has her GED and a medical assistant certification, securing a job is difficult as it’s hard to drive a vehicle.
While Letitia’s disability benefits cover appointments with neurologists and her ongoing medication, it’s not enough to cover her other needs. “When you’re on a fixed income with a family, every dollar counts,” says Letitia. “Living expenses like utilities and rent are tough, not to mention groceries.”
Thanks to Fresh For All in Glassboro, NJ, Letitia doesn’t have to choose whether to get her medication, feed her family or keep a roof over their heads. “With Fresh For All, we’re able to get fresh fruits and veggies for free, which saves us money and helps us budget the rest of our funds for other things like living expenses.”
She also notes that bringing her kids with her to Fresh For All gets them excited about eating well. “People think kids won’t eat fruits and veggies, but they do! They just need to get used to seeing them, which is why I cook most of our foods from scratch and appreciate Philabundance helping us incorporate those good vitamins into our diet.” This summer was particularly exciting for Letitia’s family because they received additional food through the KidsBites LunchBox program, offering children under 18-years-old a special lunchbox filled with a healthy entrée, milk and snacks.
Although she’s still out of work, Letitia doesn’t let that stop her from making an impact in the community. She’s channeled her passion for health and family into volunteer advocacy work for the Glassboro Family Success Center (GFSC). As the Community Liaison for Gloucester County Council for Young Children (CCYC) and the representative for their steering committee, Letitia recently unveiled her first GFSC initiative, Unplugged, a series of events where Glassboro families are invited to get “offline” and head outdoors for a day of play.
“I didn’t want to just stay home and I needed an outlet so I decided to volunteer with CCYC,” shares Letitia. “I’ve grown tremendously just by volunteering and being an advocate. It’s changed my life.”
Today, Letitia is expanding Unplugged to offer other opportunities like safety education. Moving forward, she hopes to start her own nonprofit focused on preparing tweens and teens for high school, college and the workforce.