Pear in Mind: A blog in the public interest
MomsRising has gathered stories from women across North Carolina who are worried about how to afford their family’s next meal. Many of the moms featured in our storybook are MomsRising anti-hunger advocacy fellows; this fellowship was made possible with support from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. We recently emailed this storybook to all North Carolina federal members of Congress. Along with the stories, we included this urgent request: to pass the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act this year and to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2023 Farm Bill. Here are snippets of stories included in the storybook from moms who would greatly benefit from actions to strengthen and expand federal nutrition programs:
"The biggest eye opening situation happened last year when our only family car broke down. Getting a new car was out of the question. At the end of August, 2021, after getting our car fixed and having to buy kids’ school supplies, we were left with nothing. I tried to apply for food stamps but my family was denied, apparently my husband made too much money. It was absolutely baffling to me that they considered $40,000 a year for a family of five a lot of money. Don’t all kids in America deserve to eat? Didn’t we deserve to eat?" —Erandi, Winston-Salem, NC
I received a letter saying that my grandkids would get free meals for another year. That was a relief for me: normally we have to apply and then have to wait to see if we are approved for any help. Going into the school year this is one less burden or worry for me. At least I know that the kids will be able to have 2 balanced meals 5 days a week. These kids have had so much thrown at them with the pandemic and flood in our areas, they are resilient and strong. They need to know that they will be fed. —Mary Beth, Canton, NC
There are so many misconceptions about who benefits from WIC and school meals. It upsets me when some politicians say that people who use these programs are lazy or don’t want to support themselves. That’s simply not true. For my family, these programs were a hand up. I went on to earn a graduate degree. Today, my sons are grown and both have their terminal degrees. We have worked hard and having that nutrition support when we needed it meant everything. —Valerie, Fayetteville, NC
To read all of the stories, please visit the MomsRising storybook: Running out of Food: The Hunger Crisis in North Carolina.