“They Say I Make Too Much Money”: GBM Fills the Gaps Food Stamps Can Leave

Mandy Shunnarah, GBM Communications Specialist

The patron whose story follows requested her name not be used. For purposes of the story, her name has been changed to “Sally.”

Sally had hoped to enjoy the golden years by the time she was about to turn 66. But her plans were derailed when, at 64, she was fired from her job where she had worked for 11 years.

“I survived for a little while on money from my IRA, my retirement fund, but now that’s down to $20,000, so I don’t know how much longer that’s going to last, especially now that I’m having bad health problems,” Sally said.

Sally has been suffering from two broken vertebrae, foot problems, severely high blood pressure, and recurring bouts of bronchitis. Even as her resources dwindle, she tries to show kindness to others in need.

“I took in a friend of mine’s kid and his wife who are in their thirties. They’re ex-addicts and are having a hard time finding a new direction in life even though they’ve dried out,” said Sally. “They help me around the house, but I’m still having to feed them and our food supply is running low.”

Sally is helping the couple get back on their feet in the most literal sense. The wife lost her job and the husband fell out of a tree, severely damaging his leg in several places.

“I took them in when I heard he was supposed to go to the doctor to get the pins taken out of his leg and couldn’t because they’d run out of money and didn’t have anywhere to go,” Sally explained. “Taking them in just seemed like the Christian thing to do.”

Sally comes to the GBM for food assistance because she only receives $41 a month in food stamps. “They say I make too much money to give me more than that. Ha. Not with these mouths to feed and more health problems than I can count.”

If you’d like to donate to GBM’s food pantry to help people like Sally, you can drop off nonperishable food items at GBM, located at 2304 12th Ave. N. in Birmingham between 8:30am and 4:30pm. You can also make monetary donations online or by making checks payable to Greater Birmingham Ministries.