When Hard Times Come for American Families

volunteer-with-pallet-and-truck

The rural South Georgia town of Sylvania is a forgotten town which took a big hit 20 years ago when all the major factories closed their doors and took most of the county’s jobs with them. With jobs not readily available for parents, one in three children here are at risk of going hungry on a daily basis.

When hard times come, we could all use a little safety net. We could all use a little help knowing that we won’t have to make the choice between keeping a roof over our heads and feeding our children. We could all use a little encouragement knowing that we aren’t alone—even if we feel this way.

Through our Americans Feeding Americans campaign, Feed the Children is doing just this for countless families who have fallen on hard times.

In December, our big trucks rolled through the rural South Georgia town of Sylvania, the county seat of Screven County (population 15,000). Screven ranks among the poorest counties in the state with at least 33% of its residents living below the poverty line. Sylvania is a forgotten town which took a big hit 20 years ago when all the major factories closed their doors and took most of the county’s jobs with them. With jobs not readily available for parents, one in three children here are at risk of going hungry on a daily basis.

It seemed like a perfect place for Feed the Children to lend a hand up of support—donating food and essential care products to over 800 households.

In Sylvania, we met a family who couldn’t help but say thank you and thank you over and over for what our assistance meant to them.

Daniel, the father, had recently lost his job. Though he’s looking regularly for work, so far he hasn’t found even a minimum wage paying job to help support his wife, Jennifer and three children: Tessa, 9, Tye, 6 and Lilly, 4.

If the job loss wasn’t hard enough to manage, Daniel shared that his aging and sick father recently moved in with them.

“Sometimes,” the mom, Jennifer says, “I really worry about how we are going to pay the bills and make sure that there is food in the pantry.”

Though they get assistance from the government through unemployment and SNAP benefits, “It’s just not enough to feed a family of six.”

Such is why the presence of the Feed the Children distribution coordinated through a partner agency in town was such a blessing.  It was encouragement and a little boost to a family seeking to make it but just needing someone to help remind them that others are cheering them on.

As the family vehicle (in desperate need of repairs itself) pulled way from the distribution site, Daniel rolled down the windows of his truck and said, “Please tell everyone at Feed the Children thank you again. We will eat well tonight.”

Feed the Children’s American Feeding Americans—it’s what being a good neighbor is all about… one family at a time.

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