Faces of Hunger
Stories of the people you are helping.
Doing things right, isn't always enough
I'm a single of mom four kids, and right now we live on $300 a month. The stress of that keeps me up at night I literally have trouble sleeping. The only way we are able to survive on that is with the help of food stamps. People ask me what I would do without them I have no idea. It's not something I even want to think about. We would probably just go hungry.
Sometimes I wonder how things ended up this way. I did everything right. I went to college, got married. I was a teacher until debilitating disabilities forced me home. I guess you can do everything right and life still doesn't work out. That's something many people don't realize.
Our food stamps were cut this past year by $11. Most people think $11 is nothing. Well for my family, that's two days of food. It was really hard to cut back on two days of food it involved getting cheaper, less nutritious food and depending on charity. It's not like I can cut back on other areas of our life. We don't have TV, Internet, or any money going towards anything unnecessary.
Recently I heard on the news that they were thinking of cutting food stamps further. I started crying. Don't they know people like us need food stamps to feed our children? We're not abusing the system. We depend on them to survive.
I know my kids have bright futures. They will go to college and live lives better than what I can give them now. But right now, I need to provide them with the basic nutrition they need to get there. I'm thankful that food stamps give me the means to do that. They help me and many others across this nation give their kids the futures they deserve.
Waking up to Uncertainty
Blanca cannot work and stays at home to take care of her children. Her husband has only been able to secure employment at local restaurants but he has not been able to secure a consistent income for a while. Every morning, Blanca wakes up and is not sure what she will feed her kids or if her husband will still have a job.
"All I can say is thank you to the Food Bank. They give my kids food otherwise we wouldn't have any other food. Sometimes, my husband gets to bring home the leftovers from his work", commented Blanca.
We here it all the time, "At the end of the month, we have to make a choice, do we buy food or pay the bills." Ronda like many others, reminds us of the importance of our work. "If we weren't able to get food from the Food Bank, our family would go without some meals. We are very appreciative of the support and for all the volunteers who are here helping out."
Ronda and her husband have four kids. Two school age and two living on their own. Her older kids are working hard to maintain employment. With two kids still at home and in school, the pressure really weighs on her and her husband. Fortunately, they are able to turn to the Food Bank when it comes time to make the decision to pay the bills or buy food.
"It's too often that we don't have enough money to buy food and pay our bills. I am thankful for all that the Food Bank does for my family."
It's More Than Food
Susan is 55 years old and an avid runner. While standing in line at the food distribution, she met a special friend who is developmentally delayed. They've developed a great relationship and they now run together every Tuesday after the distribution. Susan has met some of her best friends in line at the distributions, they are her family.
Susan says, "I only have a few dollars for groceries each month and coming to the Food Bank allows me to eat some foods that I otherwise wouldn't eat." If there is food that Susan doesn't normally eat or she has had enough of it, she makes sure to put it in the hands of a homeless individual on her walk home.
Susan doesn't have a car, she walks everywhere she goes. "To be honest, I'm glad I can't afford a car. They are a headache to maintain and I stay healthier by walking many miles each day." Susan went on to say, "And if I had a car, I wouldn't have met some of the people who I now interact with each day."
Bare but not Empty
Penny is a single mother and has always worked multiple jobs to support her daughters. Over a year ago, her health began to spiral downward and she would not be able to keep up with the demands of her construction jobs. Penny was soon let go because she was unable to perform her duties she was hired for. She knew times were about to get tough, but she was most afraid of letting her kids down.
Penny said, "Food prices are so high right now and the amounts are smaller at the store. So the assistance I'm receiving from the Food Bank has been outstanding. They are even helping with hygiene items, which are a huge blessing."
"Since I had my first child, I promised myself that each time they opened the refrigerator they would never see it empty".
We work each day with folks like Penny, to supply food in their refrigerators.