"For me, it's a prayer come true"
Thomas Rude was already waiting in the parking lot of the NAPA and Envision stores in Rugby when the Great Plains Food Bank truck came pulling in. As it does multiple times a year, the organization’s Mobile Food Pantry would be making a stop in Rugby on this day.
There were many reasons Thomas was overly eager to peruse the options of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, milk, bakery items and more made available at each stop of the program.
“We’ve been out of milk for two weeks now,” Thomas said as one reason.
A United States Army veteran, Thomas lives in Rugby with his wife. Age has crept up on the couple and medical bills, prescriptions, insurance and loan and utility payments begin to take a toll at the end of each month and their cupboards begin to turn bare. Life can become a struggle.
“My wife is handicapped and it’s hard for her to walk,” he says. “She’s got two artificial knees and has COPD. Her spine is collapsing.”
Thomas battles medical issues as well with prescriptions they pay for out of their own pocket. He had two stints placed in his heart after suffering an aneurysm that needed to be removed.
“Those bills on top of everything else just hurt,” said Thomas, who served three years in the Army.
“Fixed income just don’t last long enough,” he continued. “This food it helps us through the last part of the month and the start of the next month. Sometimes I can’t afford to go down and buy it. Fifty dollars to buy food to last two people a month just don’t cut it.”
These are all reasons Thomas looks forward to the Great Plains Food Bank truck arriving in Rugby each time. It provides that little bit of a boost the couple needs.
“I appreciate everything you’ve done to help,” Thomas said when asked what he would say to those that support the Great Plains Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry and Pop-up Perishable Food Program. “If there’s any way I could repay you I would. The food is absolutely needed throughout the community. For me, it’s a prayer come true.”