Real Stories: Hunger relief for Mary and Christina’s children .
December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
Mary was born and raised in San Saba, Texas. Now, she is raising her 17-year-old grandson who has lived with her since he was 4. “He’s doing really well in school. Someday, I hope he gets a good job,” she says. “He wants to go into physical therapy.” She told us her story while she waited in line at the Mobile Food Pantry.
Mary worked for many years at Kerville State Hospital in food service and dietary therapeutics and is now retired. “I’m really thankful for the Food Bank. I can make good food out of anything they give me,” she says. “The community has really been blessed. Lots of my neighbors have said they are benefiting from their services. People are able to pay their bills with less stress.”
Mary recalls when she was a child she often went throughout the school day without anything to eat. “They didn’t have the free lunch program back then,” she says. “I went hungry. I did without.” Now, Mary makes sure the Food Bank knows how much she appreciates what they do for her and her community. “Whenever I receive letters from the Food Bank, I always send $10. My food bill has cut down a whole lot,” she explains. “I’m able to pay all my bills without the usual stress. People here really appreciate this. I know I do. The community has really been blessed.”
Christina, 21, is a single mother, raising her daughter, Delilah, 2, in government-subsidized housing in south Austin. “This is my first time,” she says about coming to the St. Ignatius Food Pantry. “I was really surprised; they gave me some really good food. Stuff you can microwave, this big thing of orange juice and cereal. They even gave me food for my daughter!”
Christina was born and raised in Austin. “I know that’s kind of weird, but that’s our slogan, right?” She will attend Austin Community College in the fall, where she hopes to get her degree in education so she can teach. “I want to better myself,” she says. “I wasn’t planning on having a baby until after I was married. Now that I have her, I wouldn’t ask God to take her back—but it would definitely be easier if I was educated and had a steady job.”
“Food pantries are really important. I’m glad they’re here,” says Christina. “I have food, but I don’t want to get to a point where my daughter is hungry and I look in the refrigerator and there’s nothing there.” As for what hopes she has for Delilah: “To be better. That’s what we always want for our children—to be better than ourselves.”