Meet Aruilla – Amazing Grace Food Pantry Client

First, she lost her daughter, and soon after her dad. A few years later, her mother and younger brother passed away too. Once her grandson moved in with her, having lost most of her immediate family, Aruilla needed help.

She and her grandson struggled to keep food on the table. Aruilla receives some social services assistance, however, she explains that, “a lot of times we don’t have food because we can’t afford it.”

“Because my grandson is paying a car payment and electric and everything else, and insurance, we just can’t afford it, so had it not been for Amazing Grace Food Pantry – we wouldn’t have food.”

Aruilla holds a half gallon of milk and a fresh salad mix, a few items she selected during her visit to Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Wylie, TX.

Throughout North Texas, Aruilla’s experience has become regrettably common. As our senior population continues to grow, so does the number of older individuals who struggle with food insecurity. With age-related health concerns, mobility issues and the decline of affordable housing for seniors, often many older neighbors in our community must make difficult decisions. Aruilla has made tough choices, but through the support of a vast Feeding Network of North Texas Food Bank Partner Agencies, she and other seniors in North Texas, don’t have to prioritize critical living expenses over nutritious food.

“If it wasn’t for Amazing Grace, we wouldn’t make it. I’m on disability and social security, and we don’t get that much each month, just near enough to cover rent. Had it not been for Amazing Grace – we wouldn’t make it each month.”

Following a period of great loss, coupled with the relentless stress of not knowing if she and her grandson will have enough to eat, Aruilla not only found healthy food at Amazing Grace but a welcoming and warm environment. While the fresh vegetables and produce, milk, proteins and other foods she receives are critical in maintaining her health as she ages, the supportive community at the pantry helps nourish her soul.

“I just don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have this place to come to – and like I said – I’ve found friends here. I love them to pieces, and we’re not all in the same boat, but they need this place too. And that’s my story. I’m so happy that I found this place.”

May is Older American’s Month, a month dedicated to honoring our country’s elders, and at the North Texas Food Bank, we celebrate all our older neighbors and help ensure there is always food on the table regardless of age or circumstance. To learn more about our work with neighbors like Aruilla, visit our website at

Caroline Mandel, Writer

Caroline Mandel joined the North Texas Food Bank in fall 2018, and is passionate about sharing client stories – the face of hunger is changing and she is committed to raising awareness surrounding hidden hunger and hardship.