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With reports that the economy is strong, it can be difficult to comprehend why 42 million Americans continue to receive support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often called food stamps. According to USDA, most SNAP recipients who can work, do work.
Anna and her son are one of many working families struggling to find good paying jobs, keep up with bills and have enough food on their table. Anna has worked 40 hours per week in retail for many years but recently her hours were reduced. She does not want her son to work while he pursues a degree in Information Technology.
“I want him to get through school and have a career, not a dead-end job.”
If it weren’t for the support she receives from St. Rose of Lima, a Second Harvest feeding partner, and SNAP, Anna would be stranded. On a recent visit to the pantry, she confessed that her 15 hours a week is not enough to survive.
“I only have enough for maybe two weeks, then I’d be living like I was in college: a bag of potato chips to last me the whole week, or Ramen soup. That’s not good food, brain food, for a kid that’s going to college or for me. I’d get sick.”
Despite her current plight, Anna is hopeful that better times are ahead. Her son is close to finishing his degree and in the meantime, she has an interview lined up for a second job to help make ends meet.