"Now I'm not hungry all the time."

Francisco's Story

I first came to Tucson some twenty-odd years ago. I came alone. I have no family out here.

I was staying at the Salvation Army and I overheard someone talking about how they get free food. So I came to the Food Bank and sat down. I told someone that I was just trying to get food stamps, that I just needed help.

I had applied for food stamps four or five times before and each time I had been denied. The people at the Food Bank helped me fill the application out properly and I got approved. Now I’m not hungry all the time.

When I first started here, that was the only food that I had. Ninety percent of my check was going to rent, and I didn’t want to lose my place. 

When you’re hungry and you end up coming here, you feel relieved because you actually have something to eat. You’re not begging. You’re not thinking, “How am I going to get my next meal?”

Francisco has been receiving emergency food assistance from the Community Food Bank since 2010, but it wasn’t until he wandered into the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center that he learned he qualified for more benefits. With the help of the Giffords Center staff, he has been receiving additional benefits, which allow him to feel secure and hunger-free.