Caring for Caretakers

Aunt and niece
July 25, 2018
by Megan Vincenti

Everyone has that person in their family they can rely on. The glue, rock or pillar, whatever you might consider them, they are there when times get tough. But what happens when the helpers need help?

Sarah is a caretaker, sister, aunt and mother. She recently lost a brother who was very ill. “He couldn’t hardly walk, wash up, nothing, I had to do it,” Sarah said.

She works full-time as a babysitter for two kids, cares for her son who has developmental disabilities as well as her seven-year-old niece. “My sister isn’t stable. It’s not fair to put a little girl through that, so even though I don’t have any extra money, I offered to help.”

During the school year, Sarah’s niece gets free lunch at school but in the summer the added expense makes things challenging. “Sometimes I can’t afford it – but I make it work somehow, you know? Sometimes I have to put something aside, a bill or such, just to make ends meet. It makes me feel sad but I have to keep going.”

When Sarah really needs help, she goes to the food pantry in order to continue to provide for those who depend on her.

“Even though it’s hard, I know things will get easier – as long as I walk by faith and keep taking care of my family and doing the right thing,” Sarah said. “You gotta have faith these days. It’s the only thing that will carry us through. These are hard times, but there are better times ahead.”

Hear more stories from the people served by Feeding America and the network of food banks.