This morning I went to the food bank. It was only 26 degrees out when I arrived, so I knew I had to bundle up both myself and Felix.
The food bank requires that you wait outside. They open at 8:30AM, but they only serve 30 families a day and the spots get filled up fast. So if you want to ensure a spot in line, you need to arrive half hour to an hour early.
Normally I arrive an hour early, but it was just so freezing out this morning that I arrived 30 minutes early. The line was as long as it usually is when I arrive an hour early, so I didn’t miss much. I was 11th in line.
I had on a sweatshirt, a coat, a hat, gloves, and a blanket on my lap. I also wrapped the blanket around Felix who was wearing his winter coat.
Now the last time I went to the food bank when it was really cold out was a couple of years ago. I had Hestia with me, and I put her in a coat because it was freezing out. It was only the second time I had been to the food bank, so they weren’t familiar with me at that time. I had her vest in my hand, and a service dog leash slide on her leash. When I got inside, the director yelled at me (literally) and tried not to let me in because Hestia wasn’t wearing her vest. It was a really bad scene and I had to get Advocates for Service Animal Partners involved to resolve it.
So I was pretty worried about showing up with Felix in a coat and not his service dog in training vest! But I needed food, so I went. He had his leash slide on, and the blanket I was using said “service dog” on it.
Right at 8:30, a huge flood of people arrived. There were way more than 30 families in line, so I hope that they were all able to get some help! I think with Christmas just happening, a lot of people are strapped for money right now and so need the food bank.
I was able to get through the door OK on my way in. The door is very narrow and my wheelchair has probably less than a half inch of clearance on either side when I go through. I did my check-in, and then on the way out, I ran into the door frame a little and ripped my wheelchair bag! Huge bummer! At least I have a spare bag at home I can use, but I am so bummed about breaking the one Sabrina made for me.
It took a while for me to load into my car, so I was holding up the line a little bit, but eventually I made it around to the back and they loaded my groceries into the trunk.
It was an OK haul from the food bank. Zero fresh produce, unfortunately. But I did get frozen strawberries and peaches, and lots of frozen carrots (which I easily use making dog food). We got a really big frozen already-cooked ham, so that is thawing and we’ll have lots of ham sandwiches. I got loads of cheese to go on my sandwiches, and three baguettes for me to eat sandwiches on (most went into the freezer). We got two packets of hot dogs, three boxes of mac and cheese (I can make two different kinds at a time, one that Brad can eat that we buy separately), a bunch of canned veggies, 5 boxes of cookie mix, a pecan pie, two bags of chips (unfortunately neither are Brad-safe), a huge tub of peanut butter filled pretzel bites, a jar of peanut butter, a box of stuffing, a box of corn bread mix (not gluten free), oh and Brad’s favorites of this bunch—two bags of almonds and two bags of walnuts!!!! There might have been a couple other things that I’m forgetting, but that was 95% of it. So not the best haul from the food bank, but it’s definitely decent and always appreciated.
I have two pictures to share with y’all. One was taken outside the food bank where Felix and I were freezing, and the other shows how my wheelchair bag is ripped (taken when I got home, and Hestia was excited about the Himalayan Chew I keep for Felix suddenly being closer to her level!).