No Matter the challenge, George and his family face it head-on. George, his wife Adelina, and his stepson Nicholas take obstacles in stride, not afraid to seek-out resources that will make their lives easier. Since being referred to the Pantry by Oak Park Township, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry has been one of these resources.
“This Pantry gives us such decent portions. I’m the chef in the family and I’m careful to take only what we’ll use, because we get a lot,” says George. In addition to receiving groceries, on-staff Social Services Coordinator, Amanda Kuhn, has helped the family look into their options for public benefits.
George, 49 is legally blind, as is his wife Adelina, 53, who also has epilepsy and diabetes. Despite their obstacles, their undaunted attitude is inspiring.
“The only limitations we have are the ones we put on ourselves,” says George. It took him a year to find seasonal work after moving to Chicago from Texas a year ago. Shortly after the move, his stepson, Nicholas, joined the pair from Florida. George now works at the Brookfield Zoo’s Tropical Grill, and he’s thrilled to be there. “I have a great rapport with the animals, and I get to volunteer with the red panda, too! Plus with the zoo’s musical entertainment, I’m jamming out while I’m working, cause they crank it up!” he laughs.
Adelina is about to start studying at Triton College and hopes to find a way to work with the blind and hearing impaired. She and George also plan to try the Pantry’s next session of Cooking Matters to learn more about diabetic-friendly and heart-healthy cooking. “We’re pro-active,” says George, “living together and addressing each other’s needs.” A remedy for success, indeed.