Gardell and his wife moved to Topeka from Kansas City about four years ago. They appreciate the small-town feel of their neighborhood, especially the New Hope Food Pantry, a Harvesters partner agency right around the corner from their home.
Although they’re in their 60s, the couple is active and both work full-time – he at a local bank and she in retail. But even with two incomes, paying their bills has been a challenge. It’s especially tough when the temperature drops because a substantial portion of their budget goes to heating their home. And last November, the couple’s food stamp allocation was cut, meaning they have even less to spend on groceries.
Gardell is relieved to be able to visit New Hope at the end of the month when their kitchen cabinets are nearly bare. Here he receives shelf-stable canned goods as well as fresh produce and lean meat.
He and his wife love to have their grandkids’ favorite fruits on hand when they visit from Kansas City, and Gardell is glad to have access to healthy foods that are often too expensive to buy at the store. He hung up his car keys after they moved and now rides his bike everywhere, which he says is good for his budget and his health- but it means he needs good nutrition to fuel his body so he can keep on moving.
“Thank you!” he says with enthusiasm. “It’s so good to know this is here when we need food.”