On a recent Saturday morning, Kathleen a volunteer from the Fairfax Food Panty, makes a stop to bring food to an elderly couple living in a charming yet perilously-perched house on a hillside in Marin County. The steps alone would be enough to discourage grocery gathering, and the gentleman’s dementia and his wife’s recent fall make leaving the house all but impossible.
They declined to be identified, but their caretaker Leslie Gould tells their story. “Their income is extremely limited and they’re housebound. She can’t drive. ‘Dad’ has Alzheimer’s,” Leslie says.
Accompanied by Leslie, Kathleen walks through the front door with a box full of groceries for the couple. Dad looks up from the couch and cheerfully calls out a greeting. His wife gingerly trims his fingernails while Leslie and Kathleen put the groceries down in the kitchen.
“They really benefit from the Food Bank,” Leslie says as she puts a container of cherry tomatoes on the counter. “There is always a lot of produce. A lot of older people don’t get a chance to eat much produce, so that’s really helpful.”
In Saturday’s box, there’s also yogurt, salsa, bananas, cinnamon bread, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sliced zucchini and squash, turkey breast and fish. Kathleen began bringing the couple groceries at the request of the pastor at the Fairfax Community Church.
“They are always very thankful,” Kathleen says of the elderly couple she delivers to each week. A pantry participant herself, Kathleen volunteers to help make sure other receive the food they need as well. “It’s a really good feeling.”