The Story of a Mother

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas, Hunger, Poverty
A Story of a Mother Facing Hunger and Poverty, Facing Project

As told to Autumn Snesrud.

I woke up this morning with a feeling in my gut. I know today is going to be hard.

I go into the kitchen to open up my fridge knowing I won’t find anything in there. The emptiness that looks back at me is almost too much. We have no food, no milk, just one lonely piece of chicken. I have nothing to give my son before he goes to school.

Days like this I don’t know what to do. I have $0.18 in my bank account and I don’t get paid for three more days. I can go with little food until then, but my son doesn’t deserve that.

No child deserves that.

I drop my son off at school and drive to the food pantry. As I check in and sit down I have to fight the tears that have come to my eyes. I am so thankful for the help they give. They have always helped me when I needed it, but I have tried very hard to stay up on my own feet. I never thought it would be like this. I have worked hard to make a better life for my son. I went to school to earn a degree. I drove miles daily to get the education I knew I needed to provide for my child. I struggled while going to school but knew that in the end this would help me keep food on the table.

No one prepared me to expect the unexpected. No one told me that one day my full time job may be reduced to 26 hours a week. No one mentioned that the car brakes may go out one week and I will have no choice but to replace them. No one told me that one day I would have $0.18 to my name and a young growing child to provide for.

I never knew that it would be this hard.

I know that without the food I am getting today I would not be able to feel my son for the next week. I could eat Ramen the rest of my life and not worry about this money issue, but I cannot create that life for my son. He is the most important thing in my life, and I will do anything to make sure he has a good life. This is why I am sitting in this waiting room, still on the verge of tears. I am here today to get food just so I can make it by. I am here so tomorrow I can feed my son before I send him off to school.

I sit here thankful yet still full of hope. One day I know that I will not need this help. Instead of coming to sit in the waiting room for food, I will be the one volunteering to give out food. I sit here today because I have hope that tomorrow I will be able to come here and help others. For right now that is all I need. That is enough for me to wipe the tears from my eyes and sit confidently that life will not always be a series of struggles.

One day my son will feel satisfied after every meal he eats, and I will continue working until we get to that point.


“Read the original story on the Facing Hungry Facing Project Page.


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About The Facing Project:

The Facing Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. The organization’s model to share stories and raise awareness is in cities across the United States focused on topics such as poverty, sex trafficking, mental health, immigration, and more. Facing Project stories are compiled into books and on the web for a community resource, used to inspire art, photography, monologues and—most importantly—community-wide awareness, dialogue, action, and change toward a more understanding and empathetic society.

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