Colette is just about to celebrate her fortieth wedding anniversary. It's not quite what she expected. As a much younger girl from a Wyoming cattle ranch, her husband swept her off her feet and moved her to the big city– Seattle. For 28 years, Colette and her husband worked together to support their family. He worked outside the home, and Colette ran a small in-home childcare company. She employed another person and did the long days caring for other people's kids (up to twelve at a time), so she could stay home with her three while they were in their formative years. They were good years of hard work, and she expected to continue a good deal longer.
Three years ago, her husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia and went on disability. Life changed dramatically. They still try to visit her parents in Wyoming every October, and his parents in Linwood on occasion, but mostly they're stuck at home where it's safe. They enjoy classic John Wayne western movies to pass the time.
The food bank makes the difference, especially in the winter. Colette comes to make it easier to stretch what little retirement and disability they have. In the summer, she always gardens. Her four grandkids love to come over and play outside in the garden when it's warm. The eight year old is working on getting good with a hammer, and the 10-month-old just loves to play in the dirt.
The garden grows onions, potatoes, and tomatoes, among other things. The tomatoes especially make the summer delicious, and the rest of the year, the food bank makes sure they eat their vegetables, fresh ones. That keeps their diet fresh and delicious all year long.
West Seattle Food Bank is a Food Lifeline partner. Last year, Food Lifeline distributed over 550,000 pounds of food through the West Seattle Food Bank.