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The Hungry Home

A single mom shares the struggles that she faces trying to put food on the table for her children.

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-I get $300 a month in food stamps for 5 people. We make it last, but it's pretty scarce, you know, like you gotta ration it out the correct way or, you know, by the end of the month, we're hungry. -I get paid every 2 weeks. Each check is roughly around 540, so what I do is with the first check, I'll save 400 and then with the second check I'll save 275 so my 675 is covered. That's the rent. So with the first check, I'll buy diapers and wipes, soap Toothpaste, and dish detergent. Then 45 dollars to get my trans passes for the next 2 weeks 'til my next check comes, and then I still have to pay, you know, gas and electric, and cable bill, phone bill. -Isiah drinks PediaSure on a regular basis for her weight and [unk] drinks water. He loves water and Juicy Juice. For breakfast, he'll probably have like some egg whites. He likes egg whites, and probably like a piece of potato bread, and we got milk and fruits right here. Any dry or canned foods come from the pantry. -Some of the stuff, I don't know what it is, this is like mystery food. Like one time I got this can with just a white label and it says food and I'm like, "What kind of food is this?" You know, it's basically donated stuff so it's not like it's fresh new cans. Most of the cans are dented and you know, but I'm grateful for them, but like you know, it's not the typical thing that you will probably go and buy from the market. Just like, if you saw that in your market, you know, you're gonna reach for the other can, not that can. I'm like, who would donate something like this, like that really made me upset, like what I'm like, you know, beggars can be choosers, that's my thing. -I usually get the little juice boxes and send like 3 of them for each of them a day for?? one for snack, lunch, and for afternoon snack and they have the [unk] or I make them sandwiches for lunch. In a typical day I probably eat, probably like a bag of chips and a soda, unhealthy I know, but that's probably what I will have in a typical day, bag of chips and soda, and probably like?? he eats all his food but sometimes I won't eat all her food so I'll probably eat like whatever she has left on her plate. Like if she had noodles that day, or whatever I cook that day, whatever she had left over, I'll probably eat that, 'cause I don't make a lot. I just make enough so we don't, you know, wind up wasting food. Sometimes like, the stress of the day and being so tired, I don't even have an appetite at the end of the day. I just go to bed right there. I'll finish with them, clean them up. I want them just going to bed, just knocking out somewhere. -Say I make 10 wings. [Unk] eat 1 wing, [unk] eat wing. She'll have to know her brother have probably to, and then what's left I probably won't eat because I probably eat whatever Isiah doesn't eat, so we'll have that for the next day, and they'll probably like, you know, just eat off a bit the next day, 'cause we try not to waste food, so I try not to make too much because it costs a lot, so?? That's what I'm trying to do, is you know, get to that point where I don't need anybody or anything. I can just work and I can go to the grocery and pay money for my stuff. Get those food stamps to somebody else who need them. Like I'm not a person who just, you know, wants somebody else to keep taking care of me. I've always been very independent. I don't wanna be, you know, stereotyped to the point that my kids start to believe it. You know, [unk] my mom [unk]. I want them to grow up and you know, say like, "oh my mom is this, this, and this." And she does it so w ell for herself. And I want them to grow up and, you know, I don't want Isiah or [unk] here to have to, you know, see the things I've had to see or do the things I have to do. I want them to just be happy like I don't want them, "My mom was on food stamps my whole life." I don't want to be on food stamps my whole life.