New SNAP Client Receives Help Following Covid-19 Illness

Spokane Regional Health District reports that there have been over 133,000 cases of Covid-19 in Spokane County since March 2020. Flasha was one of the many who took ill. Covid-19 affected her, like so many others, in ways that she could never have foreseen.

Flasha was employed at an RV salesroom in Liberty Lake when she fell ill with Covid-19 on Mother’s Day 2020. Her employers were gracious, giving her space to take the time off to recover, but she ended up being out of work for over 1.5 months without pay. She visited the hospital twice, pleading for a blood test; the test came back showing she also had pneumonia, which explained her long-term, chesty cough.

As her illness and symptoms wore on, her financial situation became strained, and she was feeling the pinch of her bills. Her energy bill ultimately put her over the edge, and she worried about how she would cover it.
A friend suggested reaching out to SNAP. Flasha quickly responded with, “No, I couldn’t do that. They aren’t there to help me.” In Spring 2021, she finally decided to make the call.

Flasha remembers being greeted with amazing warmth, respect, and dignity. The person on the other end of the phone, Energy Specialist Amanda, was so kind as she shared her story, though Flasha was anxious about how she would be perceived. Amanda’s demeanor put Flasha at ease so that she never felt ashamed or intimidated.

Amanda has worked at SNAP since early 2021, helping clients like Flasha as they navigate the services they can receive. “I love that we get to help so many people,” Amanda says.

Even more surprising to Flasha was she received a call back within the week that her energy bill had been paid. “It was amazing!” she proclaims.

Today, Flasha is back on her feet, and while she is still feeling long-Covid effects, she is stable and happy. She has a part-time job in a jewelry showroom, which she loves, and she gets to spend time with her 5-year-old granddaughter in town. “My life is good now. I feel like this experience has moved me to where I want to go.”

Her gratitude to SNAP for helping her regain stability is palpable. She just learned of some volunteer opportunities with SNAP, so perhaps her SNAP journey is not over yet!