Michaela is a new mom to a 10-month-old baby boy who is starting to crawl and say his first words. Her baby keeps a smile on her face, but as a single mom, times have been really tough.
“It’s really hard, but it’s good. It’s definitely expensive. People that say it’s easy being a parent, it’s not. Especially being a single parent,” Michaela said.
The young mom works for a food delivery company. What she earns helps pay her bills, but it’s not enough to cover her baby’s expenses.
The WIC and SNAP benefits she receives help cover a portion of her expenses, but as the end of the month gets closer, it gets tougher for the small family. Once she uses all of her benefits, it’s hard to afford diapers and food for her baby.
“You got to buy diapers, wipes, and all that’s expensive. Whenever you run out of your WIC because they only give you so many cans, formula is almost twenty dollars a can. The baby food for two little containers is two dollars. You can get all that on the food stamps, but whenever your food stamps run out what are you supposed to do?” she said.
To help her out, her grandparents and her aunt will babysit her baby once in a while so she doesn’t have to pay for daycare.
“He goes to daycare but I try to not put him in daycare because it’s expensive. He’s still an infant. It’s more to be an infant than to be a toddler. It’s just really hard,” she said.
Between daycare expenses, utility bills, food, and other baby expenses, Michaela has had to make hard choices — either paying her bills or buying food for her baby.
After learning about the Food Bank’s Partner Agency, Holy Family SVDP, from her friend, she walked into the small pantry distressed and asking for one thing.
“I need food for my baby,” she said.
The staff quickly went to the back of the pantry and came out with diapers, formula and baby food for Michaela to take home.
With food for her baby in her hands, Michaela left the pantry with a smile on her face knowing she had enough for her baby.
“You guys just saved my life,” Michaela said.