Nancy has spent the better part of her life working as a registered nurse. When her age and experience became an impediment in her search for work, she found herself slipping into food insecurity.
1. Ages of Experience
Nancy: I’m 67 and a registered nurse for forty years. I basically was a forced retirement. I’ve been looking for a job for, it’ll be a year November 19th. I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of them don’t want experience. They want these brand new nurses with all degrees coming out. They really don’t want this. They think we’re going to only last a few, a year, maybe two years and stuff like this. A lot of times we last longer than these new ones coming out.
2. A New Normal
Nancy: My status has changed, okay? I used to have a paycheck. Then I was also getting social security at the time, until last November. Then I got cut off, and now it’s just social security and trying to get things. I’m seeing how the other side and everything and trying to juggle bills and trying to make sure I’m fed. Sometimes I will go without a meal. I may eat at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Then I’m fine for the rest of the day.
3. Getting Help
Nancy: I didn’t even start going to the food banks until sometime this year. I thought I could hack it. I thought I could hack it. But I just, I go to the places know that have the canned goods. This way I can stock up a little bit. This way, if I run short for the month, at least I know I’ve canned goods, like soup or vegetables I can eat.
It’s almost embarrassing in a way, because when you don’t the money and everything. . . I’ve also had to go there, for this one church that has it, for my gas and electric. Even though I get social security, after mortgage, after car payment, after car insurance, after medicare supplement, phone bill, gas and electric. Then sometimes I think I have a little extra money left, something either happens with the car or the house. But right now, I need a roof over my head. I need gas and electric. And food. And a car and car insurance.
4. On Her Own
Nancy: What am I going to do? I’ve got a lot on my plate. I get very weepy, like this. I discovered that a lot of my friends aren’t there any more. When you needed them, way back when, like when my late other passed away, they all came out of the woodwork. We need to do this and that. Now that I needed help, you ask them to do things and they don’t want to do anything. You know, they don’t answer the phones. They make excuses.