Judith and Jennifer at the Together We Cope food pantry

Judith and Jennifer outside the Together We Cope Food Pantry

When Judith Davies’ husband passed away 13 years ago, she got a job at a home health care service.

But then two falls and two heart attacks kept her from keeping that job, or any others.

Today, she receives social security and is awaiting her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application to be processed.

“Once you pay the mortgage and life insurance, everything else goes to the other bills,” Judith said. “You have to make a lot of hard choices some months.”

While waiting for her SNAP application to go through, Judith and her daughter, Jennifer Doyle, visit Together We Cope Food Pantry in Tinley Park.

“The people here are so nice and they have everything you could ever need for a whole month,” Judith said. “I never have to question if I’ll go hungry because I have this pantry a few blocks away. It’s all I have.”

Jennifer moved in with her mom after her second fall. Her husband retired from the military after eight years.

“We moved here to be with my mom, but my husband couldn’t find a job,” Jennifer said.

Once he did, he got laid off after a year.

“He is smart, but he doesn’t have any (up-to-date) certifications in the computer field, what he did in the military,” Jennifer said. “Now, we are in limbo until his GI bill application goes through so he can go back to school.”

Jennifer worked odd jobs before, but now she stays home to help with her mom and her two boys.

“She can’t move much without me helping her,” Jennifer said. “But we can’t afford to hire someone to come help out.”

Although Jennifer said some days she can feel helpless, Together We Cope gives her the reassurance she needs.

“Without this pantry, I have no idea where we would be,” Jennifer said. “Not only do they give you so much, they give us nutritious food. The staff and the volunteers here also give us encouragement that our situation is only temporary and are willing to help in any way they can.”

To learn more about our network of pantries and the work they do, visit our Programs & Services page.

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