In her inspiring life, Erin has overcome the stigma around two critical issues – food insecurity and addiction. She’s retired from the Human Resources department at an addiction recovery center – the same one where she was a patient thirty years ago.
“I was very serious about my recovery,” Erin shared. “I wanted to get my life back on track.”
She succeeded and impressed the center’s staff so much that they offered her a full-time job, which she held until she retired seven years ago.
Now, she spends her days helping other residents of the place she’s called home for 26 years – New Community Corporation’s affordable housing. Erin gives out food at CFBNJ’s monthly senior box distributions and serves as a floor captain, looking after the well-being of 13 residents. During the pandemic, she delivered meals directly to people’s apartments every single day.
“If someone in the building is in need of help, I’m right there on the other side of the door,” she said.
Erin also receives food from CFBNJ herself. She’s had two liver transplants, which have had lasting effects on her health and dietary needs.
“I like to get fruits and vegetables at the distributions. I eat a lot of salads,” Erin told us. “The food from the FoodBank helps a lot.”
At 72 years old, she remains physically active, too, regularly doing water aerobics at a community center nearby.
When asked where her drive to help others comes from, Erin credited her late parents: “They raised my siblings and I to give back to the community. They get all the glory.”
“I’ve had a great life – a really fulfilling life,” she said.