JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There are people right here in our community who rely mainly on food pantries in order to put food on their tables at night.
During the month of September we're putting a face to hunger.
One local woman found herself struggling to make ends meet after losing her husband, and having to take in two of her grandchildren.
Like many wives, Clara Gordan said she grew to count on her husband for many things. From their 20 year marriage came three children, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
On May 15 of 2005 she was dealt a devastating blow.
"It was a tremendous loss," said Gordan.
Her husband died of cancer leaving Gordan to fend for herself.
"Without the extra income coming in it was a struggle," said Gordan.
Now with a limited amount of income monthly she finds herself in a tough spot. No longer able to rely on the man she had turned to for two decades of her life.
"My granddaughter was my backbone," said Gordan. "She took care of him as much as I did."
And in turn, Gordan now takes care of her "backbone" and her teenaged grandson, after their parents were no longer able to care for them.
"We shop at thrift stores," said Gordan. "We don't wear name brand clothes. They're understanding. We do what we have to do to survive. It's not easy."
But she says places like the Prince Community Development Center helps to relieve some of the burden. Gordan is able to use the little money she has to pay for other necessities around her home.
"We have the food pantry open every day," said Darlene Johnson. "If someone needs food we give it to them."
Johnson opened up the center about 2 years ago. And she now feeds nearly 300 people every month.
"It is wonderful," said Gordan. "Without the help of the pantry we would not be able to eat."
Johnson says her partnership with Second Harvest helps the center keep its pantry doors open.
First Coast News