Of the 230,000 food-insecure Idahoans, many have to make difficult decisions regarding their health. Sometimes paying for food means skipping medication, and vice versa. These impossible choices are all too familiar for Marty, a food box recipient of The Idaho Foodbank.
“I was hurt when I was 56-years-old,” she said. “I became disabled and lost the ability to drive.”
A mother of four, Marty has lived the majority of her life in the small town of Glenns Ferry. For about two years, Marty and her daughter have been going to the Glenns Ferry VFW Hall for their monthly mobile pantry distribution where recipients choose from a variety of fresh produce and shelf-stable food.
“When we first started coming down here, we were at the point of choosing between food and medicine,” she said. Unfortunately many people like Marty face these dilemmas because of rising healthcare costs and the lack of affordable, nutritious food. Any hardship can further set a family back and that is what happened with Marty when her daughter was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer.
“She was making pretty good money in the manufacturing industry when it happened,” Marty said. “It came down to money and the choice was food or her health. I told her, ‘We’ll figure out how to cut corners.’ That’s when we started coming down here.”
For Marty and her daughter, ‘cutting corners’ meant spending less on food. The food boxes they receive at the mobile pantries help supplement their income. “I’m dependent on my social security checks but they don’t provide much,” Marty said. “I’m glad that food boxes are available here. They make a difference between whether we have groceries or not.”