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Client Spotlight: John from Pearl St. Cupboard and Café

Name: John
Town of Residence: Framingham
Can you tell us about your family?
There are three people in my family. My 18 year old son is the only one that can work. I used to do home remodeling and maintenance, but I am disabled now. I have cancer and I just broke my back. My wife is also disabled and she's on dialysis. Since my son is the only one that can work, I really need this right now.
Which direct service do you benefit from? Pearl Street Cupboard 
Can you tell me how long you have been coming to or using this service? 
I just started recently, this is my third time coming here.
Can you tell me why you come to or use this service?
It’s a necessity and I really appreciate it. Since I am disabled I can't work and my son works in retail, so that doesn't pay the bills. He also had to stop working for a little while because the store he works for wasn't taking the proper precautions to protect against COVID-19.
How did you find out about this service?
I found out about this mostly through word of mouth, but I live close so I've always seen it. I also volunteered here a few years ago, doing building maintenance and fixing the fence around the building.
What kind of help do you receive by using this service? 
I get help with groceries. It alleviates a ton of expenses and it keeps my family fed. My son is a growing 18 year old monster! We get good stuff here too, like fruit. We got fresh salmon here the other day. I let my son have that.
What is the best part of this service? 
The best part of coming here is knowing that I will get relief and not to have to buy some food. Even if we don't have money, at least I know we will have food.
How has coming to or using this service helped you?
Coming here has alleviated a lot of stress for me. Just knowing it’s here provides relief.
What about your life has become better or easier since you started coming to or using this service?
My life is better and easier since coming here. I don't have to worry about food for a few weeks. It relieves my stress just knowing I can come here if I need to.
What things are still challenging? 
Keeping my wife safe from infection is a big challenge for me right now. My medical bills are also insane since my insurance won't pay for the specialists I need to see. It's getting really expensive.
How would things be different if you didn't come here or use our services?
If I couldn't come here I'd be struggling to make ends meet, especially to buy food.