Hunger can be experienced differently depending upon a family’s unique circumstances. Hunger isn’t always a dire situation in which families have nothing to eat, but instead can often be seen in the subtle choices a family must make.
Before the impact of COVID-19, Sue worked in corporate travel for thirty years. Due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, she—like millions of people across the country—was laid off. Having recently moved to Pittsboro and having more time on her hands, Sue explored ways to become connected to her new community. Ultimately, she found a place of belonging at Chatham Community Church, where she was introduced to CORA through their service and mission work. In summer 2020, Sue volunteered for our SNACK! program and dedicated many hot and sweaty afternoons packing boxes of food for hungry children. Following the summer, Sue also dedicated many volunteer hours at the Pantry sorting food donations and packing bags for families.
In September 2020, Sue received word that her position had been permanently eliminated. Sue and her husband fared okay and cut back on spending like many in their shoes during the pandemic. However, slowly the stress and reality of their situation sank in. They didn’t qualify for public assistance, and their limited incomes were not stretching as far as they needed. Even while working various part-time jobs, they realized they needed some help putting food on the table. “At first, the thought of asking for help was overwhelming, but CORA is such a welcoming place that my reservations quickly dissolved.” Sue recently shared, “We just love what you all stand for. There is no judgment, and you aim to lift people up rather than knocking them down.”
Like many who visit CORA, Sue found a sense of community along with the help she needed. Nutritious food, community connection, and unconditional support amid a devastating time of unemployment and uncertainty. Today, she is back working full-time in the travel industry and looks forward to volunteering again soon. “I hope that telling my story of being on both sides of CORA might help someone in Chatham County who might be hesitant, as I was, to ask for help. Be assured that every person you encounter at CORA is compassionate, positive, and there to help.”