Hardworking and Hungry

Teachers across the country lean on Feeding America food banks to make ends meet.

April 9, 2018

Imagine this: You love being a teacher because you get to help kids in your community reach their full potential. You are pouring everything you have into the children you teach every day, but your paycheck simply isn’t enough to meet your family’s needs. A second job helps supplement your income, but you still come home to unpaid bills and an empty fridge. You are exhausted, and your own kids miss seeing you—but you still can’t afford healthy meals for them all month long. What do you do?

Many teachers in our country are facing situations like this today. They are serving their hometowns, yet struggling to get by. They endure a host of challenges, but no matter what happens, the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks will continue giving them the groceries they need. Our nation’s teachers have gone to great lengths to create a bright future for children, and we are dedicated to supporting them.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma works hard to provide meals to teachers across the state, which ranks 49th in the nation in average teacher pay. With some of the lowest teacher salaries in America, many educators in Oklahoma are cutting back their household budgets as much as possible and still coming up short. Dina, a local mother and teacher’s assistant, invests in her community every day as part of her job, yet she wasn’t sure which of her neighbors to turn to when her own family needed help. She was doing everything she could to pay her bills and fill her kitchen cabinets—but she just couldn’t make ends meet. Then, a friend told her about a local food pantry served by Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and everything changed. The groceries she received at the food pantry gave her family the meals they needed, enabling her to stretch her budget further and finally experience peace of mind. Now, with meals from the food pantry, Dina doesn’t need to worry when her kids need new clothes or school supplies--she can provide what they need.

We hear stories across the U.S. just like Dina’s. It’s a challenge for many teachers to cover their expenses despite all their hard work. Some have shared that they don’t want students and parents to know what they are facing, but they need a little help between paychecks. And their local food bank is ready to offer them relief and hope for tomorrow.

There are many ways that you can help struggling teachers in your community:

*Photo courtesy of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.