Carol loves living in Fortescue, where she can be close to nature on the Delaware Bay. Located in Cumberland County in the southwestern corner of New Jersey, the rural community has a population of just 189 people, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.
Carol is an artist who moved to Fortescue 30 years ago to get inspiration for her work. She creates 3D Caribbean art, which she sells and exhibits in galleries.
“I just sold one of my pieces recently, and I have another one in a show coming up that’s South Jersey-themed,” she told us excitedly.
Her picturesque community is a high-need area, though, that’s 25 minutes from the nearest grocery store. In a state that’s considered one of the richest in the country, Cumberland County falls short in key indicators for health and poverty, making it worse off than even some Appalachian counties.
Carol is one of several residents of Fortescue who visits CFBNJ’s monthly mobile pantry.
“Times are hard, and this is very needed in the community,” she said.
She needs a knee replacement soon, too, so Carol tries to be mindful of her nutrition and budget as she anticipates health implications and medical bills.
“I like to get a lot of different things like nuts and raisins and rice,” she said. “The mobile pantry helps me a great deal, so I can be at peace in this beautiful place.”