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Churches Active in Northside
November 29, 2010

I have been living in Northside for five years now, and have been receiving food assistance from CAIN once a month most months since then. Although churches kind of creep me out, the dedicated staff and volunteers there have always treated me with kindness and respect. A couple of winters ago, they even threw some work my way as a laborer when they had some experienced volunteers installing a new floor in their nursery. On my most recent visit, I realized that I had graduated into the ranks of a 'regular' after all these years. I'm ashamed to say I've been out of work for quite some time now and while I think of myself as being self-sufficient and contributing to my community, my recent history belies that belief. On more than one occasion, the food I've obtained from CAIN has kept me from suffering from acute hunger -- in fact, I’ve eaten some as I composed this review -- and I'm grateful to them for that. I think that the transition two or three years ago to a “choice pantry” has helped to eliminate food waste; I don’t take anything home now that I’m unlikely to use. When I can, I tend to time my visits for the end of their service week, Thursday morning, so that if they have more bread than they can distribute due to a late delivery, I can take home bags of loaves, bagels and English muffins that I can freeze and might otherwise turn bad over the long weekend. That's kept me going on repeated occasions. Again, I'm sorry to need the help, but I'm grateful that it's been there so far and I give back what little I can when I can. As a middle-aged single man, I’m a little embarrassed also that I’ve signed up for their Christmas benefit for the past couple of years, but it was offered and I couldn’t resist. I got a coat from CAIN a couple years ago that I put aside because I already had one; I’m glad I had it though because my main coat became infested with bedbugs this past summer and now I have something to wear this winter while I’m getting rid of them. I’m also a lifelong depressive and the holiday season (which also includes my birthday) usually finds me broke and tends to exacerbate my feelings of loneliness and dejection rather than fill me with joy – I even wrote a song called “Crying at Christmas” a few years ago for people like me. While it may seem stupid to you, having received a gift from someone for the holiday helps me to feel a little less isolated and less suicidal.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life. Northside.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

extend the Pantry hours if there were funding and volunteer support for that. If it were possible to come more than once a month, that would be swell too.

Client Served & I received food assistance and Christmas presents. I have also volunteered on occasion and worked for pay on a special project.