Real Stories of Hunger

Your Story: Daniel and Maricruz
Santa Barbara, CA

My name is Daniel and I live in Goleta, California with my wife of nine years, Maricruz, and our two children: Daniel, who is five and Aileen who is seven.

I’m a painter and I work a lot. Most weeks I work six days, from sun up to sundown, to make enough to support my family. It’s barely enough however, and I cannot always depend on the paychecks since my work is so dependent on the weather. If it rains and I miss two days – those are two days I do not get paid. Those are two days of pay my family cannot afford to miss.

In the past we have had to make tough choices when situations like that arose. We would have to choose between paying for the lights, medical expenses and food. As a father, it is so painful when your child asks you for something to eat and you cannot provide it for her. My daughter would say, “Can I have some milk?” And I would have to say ‘I’m sorry I don’t have milk.’ That’s really, really hard to say.

Thankfully, we no longer have to make as many tough choices since finding the food pantry. The food pantry distributes healthy food to us each month at my daughter’s school. It gives us some stability, as we know we can depend on it even when we cannot depend on the weather.

We are all so grateful for the food pantry, and my wife and children volunteer there regularly to give back. By helping my wife and me provide for our children now, they are helping us give our children a chance at a better future. They will have the chance to graduate college and have a stable career. That is my hope and my goal – and the people who help make the food pantry possible are playing a big role in helping that dream come true.

We are able to tell this story with our partner, C&S Wholesale Grocers, who sponsored production costs.

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