Joyce’s Story

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many people are struggling more than ever to make ends meet and some are forced to choose between eating or paying bills.

On a bright Saturday morning at Bread Shed, a food pantry in Poplar Bluff, more than 200 people wait patiently to get food provided through Southeast Missouri Food Bank and Kroger. Joyce was one of those people who depend on the distributed food.

“This food helps me every month with the little things that I can’t get,” she said as she adjusted her sunglasses.

A former police sergeant in St. Louis, Joyce was shot in the line of duty, leaving her disabled and forced to walk with a cane. Tired of the city and with family nearby, she moved to Poplar Bluff to get away from it all.

Money is tight on her fixed income, and she relies on food provided by generous donors.

“When you’re living on a fixed income, you don’t have much choice of what to eat,” Joyce said.

Although COVID-19 hasn’t affected Joyce directly, she acknowledged how bad it would have been for her without the food support.

“It’s putting a damper on things. If it wouldn’t have been for the food I get from the food bank, then it would have affected my food situation very badly,” she said.

Joyce had kind words for Bread Shed, SEMO Food Bank and their volunteers and donors.

 “You’ve helped thousands of people, and we all are very grateful and appreciate it,” she said.

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