Child Hunger in America: Gracie and Annalise’s story


Gracie

Meet Gracie and Annalise (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

Gracie is 11 and Annalise is just 5. They are both so young, but already know how tough life can be.

“My sister has headaches and migraines and seizures,” explains Gracie. Their mom, Carrie, adds, “I’ve got to make sure she eats to keep from getting headaches — to keep from bringing on the seizures.”

Having good, nutritious meals is important for every child, but especially for Annalise. Her seizures can be so intense, they frighten Gracie.

“She worries about Annalise a lot,” Carrie says. “When Annalise has a seizure or migraine, she don’t want to leave her side.”

Gracie and Annalise

“I worry about her because she’s my sister and I don’t know what I would do if I don’t have her around,” says Gracie.

Not long ago, this family of four was doing well. Carrie and her husband, Jerry, had good jobs and could provide for their two daughters. Then things changed.

The plant where Jerry worked closed down and the only job he could find was on a shipping barge. He has to be on the barge 28 days at a time, then off for two weeks at home without pay.

Then, Annalise started having seizures and migraines that require multiple trips to the hospital. And Carrie also had to go from working full-time as a nurse to being on call so she could be home with Annalise.

“I worry about her because she’s my sister…”

— Gracie

“Life right now for my family is pretty rough,” Carrie says.

“The struggle has been serious enough to where I’ve wondered if I’m going to be able to feed my kids, because I didn’t have no money left after paying the bills,” she shares through tears.

And the emotional toll of Jerry being gone so much is hard on the family.

“He’s gone most of the time instead of at home,” Gracie explains about her dad. “It’s something that he don’t want to do. It’s something he had to do.

Gracie

Gracie is aware of the struggles of her family and others in her community. She says, “If I could have one thing, it would be a lot of food that everybody could have.”

This family needed a helping hand to make it through a tough time. Thankfully, because of caring friends like you, Carrie received boxes of food and essentials through Feed the Children.

She says, “It’s gonna make us feel 100% better to know that we’ve got something that we can go home and eat, and the girls will enjoy.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in need

Please give today to help feed a hungry family like Carrie’s. Your gift can provide boxes filled with food and essentials that will put smiles on the faces of children like Gracie and Annalise.

Gracie and Annalise

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You can provide food and essentials for children like Gracie and Annalise!

Child Hunger in America: Molly’s story

Sometimes Molly plays in her closet. I think she chooses this small space because it makes her feel safe, protected from the outside world and all of the problems her family faces each day.

Molly is only 8, but she knows about food stamps and the local food pantry.

“Me and my mom go to the food pantry because we run out of food because they took $200 off my mom’s food stamps,” Molly explains.

This family struggles to get enough to eat. Molly’s mom has a job, but it doesn’t pay a lot. Her dad had to stop working because he suffers from a serious illness.

Unfortunately, that means that Molly also knows about hunger and the pain it causes.

“When we run out of food, it makes my heart very sad and it makes me cry,” Molly told me. “And then my brother and mama and daddy starts crying.”

Molly even told me how hunger hurts physically:

“What it feels like to be hungry is that you feel like you’re getting sick because you don’t have any food that you can eat… And you feel like you’re going to throw up.”

“… and it just isn’t enough.”

— Amber, Molly’s mom

With tears streaming down her cheeks, Molly’s mom, Amber, says, “…it really tugs at your heart, that you’re doing everything you can do to provide for them, and it just isn’t enough.”

Amber works hard, but her job doesn’t pay enough to provide for this family of four. Her husband, Jonathan, wants to work, but he’s suffering from a debilitating disease. Molly says:

“…it makes it very hard for him to do stuff like paint because he spills paint… Parkinson’s disease is where your hand shakes a lot.” She adds, “…it makes me very sad and it makes him sad.”

Miki-with-her-dad

Give a family a hand up and hope

Molly and her brother, Elijah, need nutritious meals. Amber and Jonathan need help from caring friends like you to feed their children during this tough time.

Thankfully, Amber received food and other essentials from their local food pantry — these much-needed items were provided by Feed the Children, thanks to our compassionate supporters.

Molly says, “People should help other people because sometimes people run out of food and they don’t have any money to get any food.”

Knowing what it’s like to be hungry has given Molly a heart for helping others.

Miki-with-hands-clasped

“If I have food, I would help anybody that doesn’t have food.” — Molly

Your gift today can provide a box of food and a box of essentials for a family just like Molly’s. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll offer a family help and hope — and put a smile on the face of a child like Molly.

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Child Hunger in America: Aiyden’s Story

“Sometimes I get afraid because there’s nothing in the house to eat.”

That’s what 7-year-old Aiyden told me (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

He also said, “When we don’t have food we’ll die and we can’t, we’ll be in the grave.”

Very serious words for one so young. The harsh reality of this family’s situation is stealing Aiyden’s childhood. He knows his mom used to have a good job, but was laid off. He knows she’s trying to find another one, but hasn’t yet.

“When Mommy’s not working, she don’t have a lot of money,” he says. “She told us she’s not able to buy a lot of food.”

“I run out of food lots of times,” says Aiyden’s mom, Shemika. “My children have went to bed hungry before.”

Shemika worries constantly about losing the car, the house — even about losing her boys because she struggles to provide for them.

family

Aiyden has found a way to help fill his empty, aching stomach:

“Sometimes when we run out of food he saves food from school and then he brings it home and he put it under his pillow so whenever we don’t eat at night, he eats it,” says big brother Andre, age 8.

But now the boys are out of school.

“The hardest thing about it is in the summertime…you have to think about having food for them for breakfast, for lunch, then dinnertime,” Shemika says.

Help a child like Aiyden

Children across America are going to bed hungry. Like Aiyden, the summer months are the hardest months — the hungry months — for millions of boys and girls. These children miss out on the free lunches and breakfasts at school.

Your gift today can provide a box of food and a box of essentials for a family in need here in our country. It’s just $38 for both boxes!

Please help today. Give a child like Aiyden a reason to smile.

Ah'Darian