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November 1, 2013

Delivering Hope to Hope this Thanksgiving

On the wall of Tricia Hope Ripley’s home, she has a calendar to keep track of her busy schedule. The calendar dawns several red marks which indicate her doctor’s appointments.

These appointments are nothing new for Tricia.

Tricia: "With Food & Friends, I know
they’re going to do what they say."
In 1971, Tricia’s life changed drastically when she was in a motorcycle accident. After the crash, she went through 22 operations which led to multiple complications, including a leg amputation. To make matters worse, she developed a potentially fatal liver disease. Tasks such as grocery shopping and preparing meals became difficult as she lives by herself and is restricted to a wheelchair.

In 2011, Tricia began receiving Food & Friends’ home-delivered, nutritious meals. Before then, she didn’t eat much and was only going to the grocery store once a month. She explains that Food & Friends changed the way she views and accesses healthy food: “It’s wonderful because my blood sugar is always stabilized.”

Food & Friends has delivered so much more than food to Tricia – our services have given her a new sense of hope. “I was literally in bed for almost five years…living and dying,” says Tricia. “Now I have much more of a life to look forward to.”

This November, Tricia looks forward to our annual Thanksgiving meal delivery. Last year, she was able to feed herself and four others – she hosted her caretaker, who she hopes to adopt next year, and her soon to be grandchildren.

“She didn’t have any money for Thanksgiving last year and they showed up here. I was in bed recovering and we had a Thanksgiving dinner,” says Tricia. “They wouldn’t have had anything.”

Perhaps even more than the meals, Tricia loves her relationships with the volunteers. After two years with Food & Friends, Tricia considers the volunteers members of her extended family.

Tricia is restricted to a wheelchair and depends on
Food & Friends' meals for her daily nutrition.
“There were many days I felt like giving up, but then one of the volunteers would show up. Since I’m homebound for so much of my life, it makes me feel like I have a family. And I love that. It makes me feel like they’re involved in my life.”

These new additions to the family have done so much as they share stories about their kids, ask for advice on anniversary gifts, recap a Supremes concert and deliver Ripley emergency water when her apartment complex faced a shutoff. Food & Friends has created a community of people that Tricia can depend on during her fight with illness.

“I haven’t had food many days. I haven’t had people to do what they say they would do,” Tricia says. “With Food & Friends, I know they’re going to do what they say.”

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