At age 78, Patria has yet to slow down. Although she and her husband Dominic have been officially retired for more than a decade, she's still working as many hours as she can at her part-time job...helping others.
Patria is both a client and a staff member at Jude 22, a Three Square Program Partner that provides much-needed food to about 1,200 seniors and disabled individuals each month.
With hers and Dominic's Social Security checks as their only form of income, Patria says it's pretty tough to pay all of their bills and still go grocery shopping with what ís left. So she gladly musters her strength to go down to the food pantry and pack bags of food to give out to other seniors who are in similar situations. And when she really needs it - after their Social Security has run out for the month - she gets to take food home for herself and Dominic to cover them until the next check comes.
"It helps stretch our Social Security check a lot!" she says gratefully.
And she feels so fortunate that she's able to do something good for others, too. It puts a smile on her face to load up grocery sacks with eggs, meat, canned goods and other staples, and then send them out the door with hungry people who really need the help. She knows how much it means to them because it means the world to her.
"It helps me very much," she says. "It's good food - it's food I can't afford to buy."