The Tough Choice Winter Can Bring

January 9, 2015

by Colleen Callahan, Communication Manager and Content Producer

Peering out the window at the moment, the weather is truly frightful. A flurry of snow has whitewashed the sky and wind chills have reached about -20 below. No one ever said living in the Midwest was for the faint of heart.

Thankfully, I don’t have to spend a lot of time outside – I’ll go home to a warm house and a warm meal. But not everyone is so lucky. For millions of Americans struggling with hunger, having both heat and food may be a luxury beyond their reach. In fact – according to Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America study – of the more than 46 million people we serve, 69 percent have had to choose between paying for food and utilities.

People like Mistie – a young mother we met at a food pantry in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mistie has two sons, 13 year-old Braiden and 3 year-old Ahnola. She had recently lost her job and unable to find more work, decided to go back to school to make a better life for her kids. While she is in school however, it’s been hard for her to make ends meet.

“There were lots of times my power was shut off because I had to choose between paying the rent, buying food or paying the electric bill and I couldn’t do everything by myself,” said Mistie. “So I ended up coming out here [to the food pantry.]”

Thanks to the food pantry, Mistie does not have to make the difficult choice between keeping the lights on, heating the house and feeding her children. But without the support of Feeding America – including our vast network of supporters and volunteers – it’s a tough decision Mistie would be forced to make.

Winter is cold for most of us in America – but for Americans facing hunger it’s even colder. This winter, check out your local food bank to find out ways in which you can help your neighbors in need stay fed and warm all winter long.

Tags: Fighting Hunger in Action , Hunger in Your Community

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