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Client Spotlight: Ana from WHEAT Community Cupboard & Cafe

Name: Ana 
Town of Residence: Clinton, MA
Can you tell us about your family? We’re a family of five, but very soon we will be a family of six. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids. My husband sustains our family while I take care of the kids, whose ages are six, four, and two years.
Which WHEAT service do you benefit from?
   - WHEAT Cupboard
   - WHEAT Café
   - Hidden Treasures
   - Feed a Family
   - Hope for the Holidays
Can you tell me how long you have been coming to or using this service? We’ve been coming to WHEAT for about three years.
Can you tell me why you come to or use this service? I come to receive help feeding my family and to use the services offered at this office.
How did you find out about this service? I found out after I enrolled my daughter at the Resource Center. They gave me the information.
What kind of help do you receive by using this service? I receive food assistance. In this manner, I am saving money that I used to spend on groceries. This program has helped my family to stabilize financially.
What is the best part of this service? Talking with people. They have excellent customer service. When you come to WHEAT, you don’t feel inferior. I grew up in a low-income family, and in most of the places that my parents and I went to ask for assistance we were discriminated against. They made us feel lower. However, that’s not the case in this office. Here every staff member treats me with respect and honor. This friendly service goes from the front desk to volunteers.
How has coming to or using this service helped you? Overall, it helps me mentally and emotionally. It keeps me emotionally stable. It helps me to stay strong for my family, and it helps me realize that in whatever situation I might be in, there is always help available.
What about your life has become better or easier since you started coming to or using this service? This service gives me confidence by knowing that I am not alone. I walk into this place knowing that there is a service that I can rely on.
What things are still challenging? Financial stability. Recently my husband received a minimum raise at work, and because of that, we lost our food stamps benefits. So, his raise doesn’t even compensate what we are spending on groceries. I want to get back to work and help my family, but I can’t because daycare is too expensive. If I decide to work, my salary will be spent on daycare services.
How would things be different if you didn't come here or use our services? I would be out of my mind! I can’t even express it with words. I would just be just struggling with how to put food on my table.