"This Program Does So Much for My Family."

Meet Beverly from Vista. Beverly, 62, shops the Client Choice Pantry at our North County Food Bank warehouse in Vista about every two weeks. Before she arrives for her scheduled appointment, she takes a look at what she already has on-hand at home.

"I usually check my pantry before I come to shop the Client Choice Pantry that way I am not picking up canned goods that we already have at home and not grabbing things that we don't need," said Beverly.

During her scheduled shopping appointments, after she has exchanged kind words and greetings with our dedicated staff and volunteers, she takes a walk around the pantry with an empty shopping cart ready to fill it with that day's available items. Typically, she selects bread, packages of frozen protein such as chicken, shelf-stable goods like pasta and canned tomatoes, and a variety of fresh produce to take home to share with her daughter, 42, and two teenage grandsons, who live with her.[caption id="attachment_20310" align="alignright" width="318"]

Photo credit: San Diego Food Bank[/caption]Currently, Beverly is unemployed and relies on the nutritious food the pantry provides to help supplement her tight food budget.

"I lost my job two years ago in customer service and have been struggling with finding employment. I was in the same job for almost 20 years and so, it kind of knocked the wind out of my sails a little bit trying to figure out how to get back on my feet from that."

Beverly's unemployment benefits have since expired, but she currently receives monthly benefits from the State of California's CalFresh program (otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to help purchase food items at the grocery store like milk and eggs that are not always available at the Client Choice Pantry.She turns to the Food Bank to help fill those nutritional gaps in her food budget. Every item Beverly picks up at the pantry is used to cook healthy meals for her and her family to enjoy together.

"This program [Client Choice Pantry] does so much for my family. I am able to come in and choose things my family is going to use. I will also base dinners on what proteins and vegetables are available [at the pantry]."

The gap is expected to widen for many like Beverly with the ending of the emergency CalFresh allotments in February 2023. Families will feel the impact and see the decrease in the amount of money they receive monthly on their EBT cards starting April 2023.Because of the generous support of our donors and supporters, critical programs like our Client Choice Pantry, which first opened its doors to serve North County families in June 2022, can continue helping residents like Beverly put food on the table for her family and help get them through challenging seasons of life.If you are interested in learning more about the Food Bank's Client Choice Pantry, click here.If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please use our GPS Food Locator map. Click the red site navigation button below.[button url="https://sandiegofoodbank.org/gethelp/" color="red" target="self" position="left" text="Get Food"]