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Food Pantry Provides What Food Stamps Can't

Seacoast Family Food Pantry of New Hampshire

The Seacoast Family Food Pantry began as the Ladies Humane Society in 1816 to assist families of fishermen. Now, it is still serving those in the community who need help. The pantry aids many families with children—and many elders. Jane is a widow living on a fixed income.

“There are a lot of things you can’t buy with food stamps, but down at the pantry, they cover just about everything that you would need in your household,” Jane said.

According to Jane, many seniors are finding that social security and food stamps are not enough to provide their everyday needs. “When I first started working I was only making $.25 an hour so my social security is very limited,” she said. “Growing up the pay was very little, but the stuff didn’t cost as much either. When my husband and I would come back with two bags full of groceries, we would say ‘$30? How could we spend so much?’ That’s nothing now. You can spend $30 on cat food now.”

The pantry reaches out to the elderly, the disabled and young single mothers without making them feel embarrassed, Jane said. “They are so friendly, and they make you feel like it’s as normal as going to a grocery store. They are very kind, and you don’t feel inferior in any way. I think it’s a very good place and it helps a lot of the seniors. I do think that a lot of single parents go there, too. If the young people are getting what I’m getting for food stamps, they would never make it- not with kids and the way they eat.”

Jane expressed gratitude to the food a pantry for its positive impact on her life and on the lives of others. “I find the food pantry works very well for me, and I imagine for a lot of other people also. I don’t know what I would do without the food pantry. It makes a big difference in my life.”

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