Eight-year-old Zander is the oldest of four siblings. His family moved to Giddings, Texas, from South Carolina a few months ago. It has been a drastic change, but Zander likes his new home.
Though he’s mostly occupied with having fun during the summer and reading Captain Underpants books, there’s something that has been worrying him.
Recently, he has been asking his mom why they can’t buy the food they used to get.
In South Carolina, his family lived in a 3,700-square-foot home on a golf course with a pool. His dad had a good job and the family lived a comfortable life.
His mom, Jaymie, didn’t have to worry about not having enough money to buy groceries. She made sure her kids ate a lot of fruits and veggies.
However, the family’s economic situation changed this summer.
“It’s hard because you’re used to making good money and buying whatever you want to buy to feed the kids and then you don’t have the money. It’s really hard to go to the store and they want this fruit or that vegetable and it’s expensive. How do you explain that to them?” Jaymie said.
For them, family comes first. They made the decision to move to Giddings to care for their relatives who have health problems. They would stay with her brother and her husband would start a job he had lined up in Texas.
But things took a turn.
“We had a really good job in South Carolina and then his grandparents and his dad have some health problems, so he quit to move down here to help him. He had a job and when we got here it ended up not working out,” Jaymie said.
Jaymie’s husband hasn’t been able to find a job in Giddings or the surrounding areas. Without any income coming in, the family has had a tough time getting by even with support from her brother.
Despite receiving SNAP benefits and WIC, it’s still difficult for the family to cover all their expenses. They could no longer afford to buy the fresh produce her kids loved so much.
“My husband’s been mowing grass just to pay car payments and stuff,” Jaymie said. “We have food stamps and WIC, but you know it’s hard to make it.”
Thanks to the Food Bank, Jaymie’s kids are still able to get the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
“You want to give them the best nutrition that you can and fruits and vegetables are something that we normally eat a lot of but it can be expensive to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. You don’t want to fill your kids up with junk. You want to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need as they grow,” Jaymie said.
At the Gidding’s Food Pantry, Jaymie stocks up on staples during our Fresh Food for Families distribution. They are able to get carrots, onions, strawberries, avocados, bananas, mangoes and much more. At home the family makes all kinds of salads with the produce they get.
“Thank you so much for helping us. You know it’s been real tough and even though it may not seem like a lot, every little bit helps…thank you so much. It makes a very big difference,” Jaymie said.
Putting food on the table and staying healthy can be difficult for families in need like Jaymie’s. That’s why we’re raising 1 million Summer Meals That Matter to ensure that families in need have nourishing meals. When you give during the summer, your donation will be matched. Help us bring back the joys of summer!