The Story of a Hit-and-Run Survivor

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas

Jobs are hard to come by; I’m still currently looking. I’ve worked at Wendy’s, a hotel, and have done some catering gigs, but nothing ever long term. It’s hard when nobody will hire you because you’re a liability to the company. It is difficult for me to work throughout the day when my body just constantly aches after the accident.

About ten years or so ago, I was hit by a car. I broke my body in four places and have had to undergo many surgeries. I’ve had to wear all kinds of braces and have been forced take it easy when I wasn’t supposed to move. It was a hit-and-run and I have only received a partial insurance settlement. It’s a hard life when you can’t work. With all my doctor bills, attorney bills, and everyday bills the money that I do have goes quickly. I have three boys, two grown and on their own, but I still have a boy that is in middle school. With no money coming in, it is hard to give him all he needs.

Food is an essential part of every human being’s life. Without food you feel an emptiness that can sometimes be painful. It is hard to concentrate and accomplish tasks because the only thing on your mind is how hungry you are. With no money coming into my home, there is no money for food. It is an awful feeling knowing that you can’t provide for yourself or loved ones with something that is usually considered easy to get.

After I started receiving food stamps, things got a little better. I don’t come to the Breadbasket often, but I come here when I need it. Oh, what a generous and selfless place this is. Being able to have a food pantry in our community is a blessing. Without it, I might not be able to keep my son and I fed.

No matter what situation you are in, all you can do is keep going. I do what I can to find temporary jobs. What is nice about a community like ours is that everyone genuinely wants to help you. I clean some houses for friends and do little side jobs when they come up. It is a good feeling knowing that I can walk down a street or go to the bowling alley and see someone that I know every time. We all just have to help each other out. Without the help of others, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am.

As told to Katie Omo

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