374,000 Utahns do not have enough to eat. 1 in 7 Utah children is at risk of missing a meal. These statistics are startling, but for some of us, it may be hard to understand what it really looks like to be food insecure. One of our clients graciously shared what it’s like to be a mom when tough choices like paying for food or heat are a daily struggle.
Brittany and her husband live in Salt Lake with their two young boys. “It’s hard because I want to give my kids everything and be a good mom,” Brittany shared recently. “When I don’t have the options to give them healthy food or a traditional holiday dinner or ice cream for their birthday, it makes me feel bad.”
Both Brittany and her husband work multiple jobs to try to make ends meet. “My husband works full time in the financial industry. He has a college degree, but we are still living at the poverty level.” Brittany works as a manager at a movie theatre, makes and sells handicrafts and babysits in exchange for food. “It’s not a factor of being lazy – we don’t live off the government”.
“The other day I had my coat on in the house and I could not get warm. I went and checked the thermostat and it was 42 degrees in the house. I finally decided to turn the heat on because we are allowed to do things like that when we really need to because of the food we get from the Mobile Pantry. It sure was nice to turn it on!”
The Mobile Pantry has made a big impact on their daily living. “[Through the Mobile Pantry] we’d get a loaf of bread or chicken – things to help us survive. The things that make life comfortable, like turning on the heat, or a mop, or even having medicine to ease your child’s pain are things we’ve been able to do thanks to the help we receive from the Mobile Pantry.”
All parents want to give their children these “little luxuries” like ice cream on their birthday or keeping a house warm in the winter. But even without all of those things, Brittany shines with positivity and gratitude, “Life is still wonderful and beautiful, but it would be nice to have more. The Mobile Pantry has given us that.”
When you donate food, time or money to Utah Food Bank, you are helping parents like Brittany and her husband make sure their children have enough to eat. And there are families just like Brittany’s living in every county in Utah. Please consider a gift of food, time or money this season and help us fight hunger statewide. UtahFoodBank.org/holiday
Click here to learn more about Brittany and her family’s story.