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A mother and daughter holding food supplies in a kitchen

Danicia and Amelia

“I know how it is when you don’t got nobody to help you.”

Danicia and her 4-year-old daughter Amelia live in a bad part of Nashville. The gun violence and gang activity are so bad that Amelia barely gets to play outside. Their family lives on food stamps, but food stamps can’t be used to buy clothing, toilet paper, or shampoo.

As a single mother, Danicia has to balance her daughter’s safety and wellbeing with their family’s need for income. She can’t work outside of the home, because Amelia is too young to be left alone. Daycare is out of the question, and there are no friends or relatives that Danicia can trust to watch Amelia. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place until Amelia is old enough to be in school all day.

Making sure that their family gets enough nutritious food to eat is another struggle. There are no grocery stores in Danicia’s neighborhood since the last one closed over a year ago. Now, the dollar store is the only place to buy food, and they don’t have fresh produce.

Most people in Danicia’s neighborhood don’t own cars. They can’t drive to other areas to shop for what they need. Danicia relies on her brother to take her to the store every month, when she buys fresh vegetables and meat. She has to plan carefully to make sure that everything will last.  

Danicia and Amelia rely heavily on the aid provided by local community partners like Elijah’s Heart, which receives food and essentials from Feed the Children. They get vitamins, food, clothes for Amelia, and books that they can read together. Danicia often brings her daughter to help out with food distribution, because it’s a rare opportunity for Amelia to interact with good-hearted people.

Danicia does everything she can for her child. She wants all the best for her daughter. Next year, Danicia hopes that she can find work, and that Amelia can have a better life. “I just want her to be able to get out of here. Well, I mean, now I’m at the projects. Find me something nice and a nice job so I can do more stuff for her.”

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