Meet Jessica

Think food stamps aren’t going to people who really need them?  After losing her job “making really decent money” in 2010, Jessica took two jobs to make ends meet.  She was still able to manage her expenses, but then was struck by the unexpected.  Food stamps provided the safety net she needed.  Hear the rest of the story in Jessica’s words:

Stress can do crazy things.  For me, it led to a Vitamin B deficiency.  I was diagnosed when, after weeks of slightly stumbling, I outright fell and broke my foot.  I ended up in the hospital, unable to walk. I was working two jobs as a waitress at the time, and was terrified. You can’t be a waitress if you can’t walk, and I had a child to provide for.

Thankfully, I was able to walk again, but it took three months, and needless to say I wasn’t able to keep my jobs.  During my recovery the bills piled up, and I literally could not pay a single one.  I borrowed money from my family and friends just to keep the electricity on. I am thankful that we were able to get food stamps to help my daughter and I through this difficult time. Food was one less thing I had to worry about. Honestly, I don’t think we would have gotten by without them.

Since my foot has healed, I’ve been able to work again.  I currently work two jobs at local nonprofits – but with hospital bills, it’s still a struggle. I worry the stress of it all has deeply affected my daughter, but she’s a resilient kid.  When I apologize to her, she says, “Mom, I wouldn’t be the person I was today if we hadn’t gone through this.” And she’s right. We’re strong. We’re survivors. We’ll come out of these hard times better people than we were before.

Drastic cuts to food stamps are currently under serious consideration by our national legislators. If you were inspired by this blog, we ask that you please contact your House representative and ask them not to cut Food Stamps and other nutrition programs.

Video and story courtesy of Feeding America. We are grateful to Jessica for her willingness to share her personal story, and to ACFB partner agency Malachi’s Storehouse for introducing us to her.