Local food pantry keeps families afloat

- The Anthony family hasn't lived in the Bay Area for long, but they already feel at home.

The last few years haven't been easy for them. Both of their children have medical issues and hospital bills make it hard to pay for necessities like food and clothes. But they've been able to stay afloat with the help of Oldsmar Cares.

"It's allowed us to have a little more flexibility in our budget. But also a better relationship with the community," said Ashley Anthony.

The Anthonys stop by the food pantry whenever they need supplies and they've grown close to volunteers like David Wallace. David has volunteered at Oldsmar Cares since it first opened in 1997 and has helped hundreds of families over the past 20 years.  

"Helping them, giving them food and clothing, and sometimes just sitting down and talking and being a friend, it makes me feel wonderful," said David.

He knows it's not easy asking complete strangers for help, so David and the other volunteers try and make the shopping experience as comfortable as possible.

"We give every person that comes in here two rolls of toilet paper because if you think it's difficult to ask for food, just think about the other," said David.

It's that kind of kindness and sensitivity that the Anthonys appreciate most.

"You don't want to have to ask for help, but the help is there, and they make you feel welcome. You don't feel low; they're just your neighbors. That's what I love about the whole organization," said Ashley.

And no matter what troubles bring them to the Oldsmar Cares, the Anthony's always leave the pantry with gratitude and a smile. 
 

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