Since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate older adults and their contributions to our communities. The Houston Food Bank eng​ages in this movement by raising awareness and showing support for seniors facing hunger in our community like Stela.

Stela was a professional floral designer for 18 years before developing rheumatoid arthritis. It wouldn’t have been so bad not working except she and her husband had divorced a few years before the onset of her medical condition. She admits to being stubborn and keeping their townhouse they shared together which requires most of the income she receives monthly. Stela receives $600 a month for Social Security but has to wait until she is 66 to be able to get her full Social Security check of $1200, in the mean time she cannot do much work with her hands and explains no one wants to hire a 62 year old woman with health problems. All she can do is volunteer at different churches and spend her days staying as positive as she can.

One thing she is looking forward to is her first grandchild which is expected in December. She has 3 children all adults who are living well and doing good things, she explains that even with her struggling financially, she does not wish anything were different, she raised her kids right and they have made something for themselves. She also admitted that her stubbornness also has her refusing her children’s help because where she is from in Serbia, it is the parents that take care of the children, not the other way around.

Stela is not worried and actually used the phrase “Everything happens for a reason”. She believes that what she is going through could be a lot worse, especially for what her extended family is going through overseas. She feels fortunate to even be an American citizen and values all that life has to offer. She doesn’t go to Clearlake food pantry just for food, she goes to see how loving and caring people are and make herself stay thankful each and every day.