The early months of drug and alcohol recovery are a difficult time but could seem nearly impossible when combined with a pandemic, a hospitalized family member and uncertainty about how you will get food. These were the challenges faced by Carrie*, a client of POWER (PA Organization for Women in Recovery).

After spending a few days out of town to visit her ill relative, Carrie returned to her rooming house to find that all her food had been stolen. To make matters worse, she had already used her SNAP benefits for the month and had no transportation to get to a food distribution event.

Lachelle quickly got to work. During a conversation with a coworker, Lachelle learned that it may be possible for staff to visit a food bank distribution site to pick up food for their clients. No one at POWER had attempted this before, but Lachelle knew she needed to give it a try.

A short time later, Lachelle arrived at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. It was a distribution day and the line of cars was long. Lachelle spoke with the guard and explained the situation. She was permitted to pick up the food and dropped it off to a thrilled Carrie.

Now, she and other POWER staff continue to deliver food to clients when it is needed.

“Early recovery can be an emotional rollercoaster,” said Lachelle. “I’m glad we were able to connect Carrie and other POWER clients with the resources they need. It shows them that they are not alone and gives them hope that things will get better.”

* Carrie is a pseudonym to protect the client’s identity.