There isn’t a thing that Phyllis & Jim can’t fix or solve. They met and married as teenagers. Jim worked for 44 years at the paper mill while Phyllis stayed home to raise their 6 kids. “I worked a lot of overtime in those days to keep everyone fed,” Jim shared. They also gardened and kept some livestock – something they can’t do anymore. Mostly the pair learned to do whatever needed done. According to Phyllis,“When you don’t have much, you can’t spend $100 on a repairman or replacements. You learn to fix things yourself.”
At Mid-Ohio Foodbank Produce Market in Ross County, Phyllis explained “We’re in our late 70s and can make it on social security. We stretch every dollar but produce is so expensive at the store.” Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Produce Markets are held in partnership with various community organizations and give free produce to low-income families and individuals.
Phyllis and Jim stretch their resources by doing practically everything themselves or with a bit of help from their kids. Just last week, Phyllis chopped the wood for their stove. (Jim’s bad back means he isn’t allowed to use the chainsaw anymore.)
Last year, the couple had 45 doctor appointments mostly for Jim’s glaucoma and most of them an hour away in Columbus. The co-pays and prescription costs add up quickly. The couple hopes surgery will give Jim back his eyesight.
Phyllis gets fresh produce from the nearby markets to take home, and many times she gets enough that she cans or freezes some for later. “Last year I put up a good amount of carrots, sauerkraut, applesauce, and green beans.”