A true “child of the 60s,” at 72 Ms. Loraine Campbell is a free spirit, published author, and is currently working on fictionalizing her memoir, which she hopes to fund through an Artist Trust Fellowship. A three-time survivor of skin cancer, Ms. Campbell recently had her right cheek rebuilt after undergoing nine different surgeries on her face to remove tumors. Despite these hardships, Ms. Campbell is a warm, upbeat, positive woman with a wealth of life experience to offer. Ms. Campbell also happens to be “low-income,” and is a regular user of Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank.
Nearly every Friday, rain or shine, the waif-like Ms. Campbell walks a mile with her small, rolling suitcase to Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank to pick up her week’s worth of food. Living on $710 a month in Supplemental Security Income, with only $100 a month in food stamps to feed herself (she can spend $1 on each meal), Ms. Campbell depends on Byrd Barr Place to make it through. “If food banks weren’t around, I’d go hungry,” she stated very plainly. A patron of other food banks in the neighborhood, Ms. Campbell tries to go once a month to the food bank at Jewish Family Services, as well as stops by Cherry Street Food Bank on her way to the library, but relies most heavily on Byrd Barr Place.
Without food banks Ms. Campbell would have to work, even at 72, in order to survive. As it is, she spends many hours each week walking from food bank to food bank, just trying to meet her basic nutritional needs. For Ms. Campbell, her nutrition is vital to her health. Besides skin cancer and painful scoliosis, Ms. Campbell has been living with Hepatitis C for decades, keeping it under control mostly through her diet of organic fruits and vegetables. A vegetarian for over 50 years, Ms. Campbell struggles to make 50% of her diet fresh (preferably organic) produce in order to keep her liver healthy and functioning. “By the time you reach 50, you should make 50% of your diet fresh fruits and vegetables in order to stay healthy,” Ms. Campbell recommends for all adults. The United States Department of Agriculture recently came around to wisdom Ms. Campbell has known for many years, and transformed their traditional food pyramid into a picture of a plate, called “My Plate,” with half of daily food intake comprising fruits and vegetables.
Ms. Campbell is one of the hundreds of senior citizens who patronize Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank each week, with each of them having an equally unique and touching story. Seniors including Ms. Campbell will be the beneficiaries of Byrd Barr Place’s Groupon Grassroots campaign, seeking to provide more fresh produce to the seniors who make up nearly half of Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank clientele. Thank you for helping us provide for our community by supporting us in our Groupon Grassroots Campaign.