“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” Carl shared this quote from Louisa May Alcott during a stress reduction class last month. His positivity is contagious.
Carl comes to each class with his binder, an assortment of pens and highlighters, and his schedule notebook. He is organized and very interested in learning to cook for himself and his daughter Martina, a junior at Purdue with a full-ride scholarship through the 21st Century Scholars program. “I am tired of getting microwavable meals for myself and my daughter. I value Food Finders for the cooking classes. I tried the soup, and it worked. I will be one of the most highly-rated cheerleaders for Food Finders’ cooking classes. It has helped me to budget and improve my cooking skills so that I can use the resources that I get to do the cooking that I need,” shared Carl.
From the sixth child of a single parent in Gary, Indiana to an industrial engineer at SIA, Carl has led an exciting life. Now at age 53, he noticed some changes in his abilities. “I began experiencing short-term memory loss, battling with a gastro-esophageal disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and I’m working to lower my blood sugar,” Carl explained. These health issues caused him to no longer be able to hold a full-time job. He applied for social security disability and has been waiting 18 months for approval. In that time, he depleted his retirement savings and sought out help from Food Finders Food Bank. He first visited the J.P. Lisack food pantry in early February. He signed up for SNAP benefits and was immediately interested in our Recipe For Success program. In this program, FFFB connect clients with other community resources such as heating assistance, childcare, healthcare, and more! Clients are encouraged to attend education classes in our Food Resource & Education Center to gain the necessary ingredients to create their own recipe for food security.
Carl excelled at West Side High School in Gary, Indiana. He went on to Purdue and was a graduate of Purdue’s Horizon program. He stated, “If you take two equal kids, one from a normal background and one from a disadvantaged background, and you let them through the system at Purdue, nine times out of 10 the person with the disadvantaged background will have a very difficult time, at best, in graduating. Take the same two and give the disadvantaged person the advantage of Horizons, and they’ll equal or exceed the other person.” From Purdue, he went on to a job at Wabash as a supervisor in training. He then made his way to Subaru of Indiana Automotive where he worked for 14 years. “I was working production control, then production scheduling, then finally supplier quality assurance administrator where I handled the budget and manpower for the department. We handled the quality of all the parts coming in and the quality of the parts being put on the cars,” Carl stated.
“I have quite a bit of education, it’s just that because of my mental lapses and my memory situation, I can’t sustain a full-time job, and that’s basically it. If I had my short term memory good again like it used to be, I wouldn’t be here. I’d have a job, and it would be ok. But that’s part of life. You take the good with the bad and try to keep moving. That’s the way I live my life now. It doesn’t help to freak out. My glass is half full, let’s enjoy it. Let’s have another sip,” Carl concluded taking a sip from his cup.
Food Finders is able to help hardworking people like Carl during challenging times with the support of our donors and volunteers. We sincerely thank you for the difference you make in the lives of others.