being a mom

How To Feed Your Family From A Food Bank

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When we first started going I took my children thinking I was giving them a life lesson. We tried a new pantry and two of my 8-year-old’s classmates were there. I think the other mom and I were both mortified, but I was proud of us for doing what we need to do to feed our families. I hadn’t considered the stigma of being a “food bank kid” though, so I go by myself on the weekend now.

I so relate to feeling like these things only happen to “other people.” I qualified for WIC long ago – after the birth of my first child. Something inside of me stopped me from applying for it, at the eventual expense of most of my savings. That extra money every month was sorely needed – and would have helped save me from the incredible debt I find myself in now. Although I’ve never subscribed to the belief that many Americans have that WIC is a “handout” – there is a part of me that is so brainwashed, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for the help that I desperately needed. I have a daily reminder of this in the form of my credit cards calling to pester me about balances it will take me decades to pay back.

If the numbers one in four are remotely accurate, then you know these people. They teach your children, put out your fires, deliver your mail. Many of us have had salary freezes and were able to afford the same food in 2010 but three years later, our income has stayed the same while the cost of bread has doubled.

The image of Jabba the Hutt’s crew sitting on a couch playing X-Box, stuffing their faces with lobster, waiting for a handout is wrong. We are not all lazy, unmotivated or unintelligent. We are people with families trying to make it all work. Just like you.

If you are going through a rough time – you should read this article. There are so many good tips in here about how to make your groceries stretch and how to find the best places for food donation. If you aren’t going through a rough financial time – you should count your blessings and read this article anyway – to really grasp that anyone can find herself in a position where she is struggling to feed her family. To manage to walk through it with the grace and courage that Marisa does it with is the challenge.

Learn more ways to help the hungry people around you at CNN Impact Your World

(photo: Ken Shulze/ Shutterstock)

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