Faces of Hunger
Doing things right, isn’t always enough

6/2/2014 10:10:00 AM

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

10/24/2013 3:23:00 PM

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.
Income Extender

8/29/2013 3:24:00 PM

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

8/15/2013 3:46:00 PM

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

7/25/2013 1:35:00 PM

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.
Fighting a Different Fight

7/3/2013 3:37:00 PM

As so many of us prepare to celebrate our independence, keep in mind folks like Carroll who fought for our freedom and now fighting to make ends meet.

A United States Navy Veteran who spent many years serving our county. Carroll was an electronics technician for as long as he could remember. Since his time in the Navy, Carroll has struggled to find consistent income. Today, he has a very meager income and comes to the Food Bank to make ends meet.

Carroll claims through his experience, “Jobs aren’t plentiful by any means; paying jobs are definitely not plentiful. I have to come to these distributions to keep me going.”

Carroll’s story is consistent with roughly 2,000 other local veterans who are considered food insecure.
A Way of Life

6/26/2013 10:18:00 AM

“Volunteering at the Food Bank of Lincoln for us is a privilege and a blessing. In the last few years, a much greater need of food for families and individuals has occurred in our community. More food, volunteers and money is required to meet the growing need. The Food Bank is successful in meeting the needs of the community. The Food Bank receives gifts both large and small and has a staff to help with more complex gifts. To volunteer where the purpose is so noble has been a way of life for our retirement.”

Gene and Mary are two of hundreds of volunteers that allow the Food Bank of Lincoln to serve our hungry neighbors. Over the last 16 years, they have been dedicating two days a week to alleviating hunger.

We are grateful for Gene and Mary Osborn and many others who help us to alleviate hunger in Southeast Nebraska – with volunteer service, financial contributions and food donations.
Giving and Receiving

6/11/2013 8:52:00 AM

Shannon has been coming to food distributions for years. She started coming as a volunteer as a way to give back to the community.

After getting married, having children and enduring life circumstances, she is now coming to extend her budget. Shannon continues to volunteer each week, but she also goes through the line. She home schools her children and also baby-sits a couple kids to help make ends meet. Her husband also works full-time, but at the end of the month, “it doesn’t always work out,” said Shannon.

Make no mistake about it; Shannon will be attending a weekly distribution for as long as she can – mostly as a volunteer and occasionally as a food recipient.
Trying to Make Ends Meet

4/17/2013 2:08:00 PM

Vallary had been struggling to find employment for quite some time. She bounced from many part-time jobs, until she decided she should better herself and finally pursue a degree. Soon after she started toward her degree her husband left home. This left her with the kids to care for all on her own and her school bills. This only added to her continuing struggles to make ends meet.

She recently found work as a paid intern in the computer industry while working on her degree. But her minimal income is far from adequate and not meeting her family’s needs.

Vallary says, “Times are tough and I don’t have the experience many employers want. Plus I have little ones to take care of.”

Even with food assistance from the Food Bank, Vallary is short at the end of each month.

“The Food Bank usually has pretty good stuff. And everyone in my family appreciates the help. Right now, we are searching for a little more help.”

Vallary is not unlike many other friends of the Food Bank of Lincoln. She is in need of food and hope.



 
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Fact: For infants and young children, the effects of chronic malnutrition in the early years of life are largely irreversible.