Meet Carroll Thomas – CSFP and Food Pantry client

By: Karole Davis

“If you don’t eat, you go downhill fast.”

Carroll is a longtime Naples resident in her 70s who lives alone with no relatives nearby.  After losing her job in 2008, she developed serious back problems and became unable to work. 

Carroll was encouraged to visit food pantries and sign up for the senior food program, CSFP, which provides 2 extra bags of food each month to seniors who qualify.  She was hesitant to ask for help, because she was taught “as long as you can make it, you don’t need help.”

 “Even with the help of local food pantries (Tree of Life Church and the Salvation Army), it can still cost $100 - $150  a month to buy food.”  The food she receives “is a very big help.  I was actually afraid at first to try the canned meats and I did and they happen to taste just like fresh hamburger except it’s already cooked,” she shares.

Carroll’s SNAP benefits were recently cut to $27 a month from $97 a month.  The extra food she receives makes all the difference.

What would she do without this help?

“Do like most seniors, don’t eat.  What else is there?  Can’t afford to order food in, and can’t afford to go anywhere.”

Why is the CSFP program important?

“It helps seniors out financially, it helps them actually have healthy food and able to keep their spirits up.  If you don’t eat, you go downhill fast.”

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