The Day my Kids went Hungry

Published on November 14, 2014 By Lauren
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    Five years ago I was packing up my two children, ages 4 and 6 weeks old. We were headed to the best sale of the year – TRIPLE coupons at Harris Teeter. I had spent the previous two days planning out my shopping trip and if all went as planned, I would be getting over $400 worth of food for under $50.00.

    We were having one of the hardest times financially, in over $40,000 worth of debt, and having a hard time coming up with money to pay our bills. Couponing and meal planning were an absolute necessity for us – we wouldn’t be able to afford to eat otherwise.

     

    I packed my two children into our mini van and took the 10-minute drive to Harris Teeter. I had fed the baby, changed her diaper, brought snacks for the 4 year old – I should have been good to go! After a two-hour marathon shopping trip, I finally got to the register and after a half hour of cashing out (Yes I was THAT lady) my total was only $45.00 – and a savings of $350! I was so thrilled and so excited to go home and show Mark how much money I had saved us!

    I reached into my purse to get my wallet, frantically moving my hand around the bottom of it….Nothing….No wallet, no money, NOTHING! How could I have forgotten that? I was on the verge of tears, but I kept myself together. I confessed to the cashier that I had forgotten my wallet at home and politely asked if she could take my coupons out of the register and give them back to me. Noticing her frustration, I began to panic. The baby started to cry, and then I realized that the half eaten bag of goldfish crackers I had given to my son in the store had not been paid for yet….and I had no money! Thankfully the cashier was kind enough to have mercy on this clearly overwhelmed mom – she took my grocery cart and set it aside and held it for me until I could come back.

    I had to rip the half eaten bag of goldfish out of the hands of my 4 year old who immediately started to cry. I started to walk out of the store with my kids and my son started to scream “Mom, why don’t we have any money for food! I am hungry!”

    Imagine this: You see a mom in the store with a crying 6 week old strapped to her chest in a carrier, and her son crying “I am hungry – we don’t have any food”. That is enough to break your heart!

    Here is how the story ended – I drove back home and got my cash. Then went back to the store and purchased the food (including the gold fish crackers). It was a relief that we were able to have enough money to pay for food that week, but I never knew what the next week would hold.

    Not everyone has that option– not everyone has the money to buy food, and for a few minutes I could understand the feeling of not having food to feed my kids. It was a horrible feeling, and I hope that no child has to go hungry.

     

    Did you know that 1 out of 5 American Children do not know where there next meal is coming from? That is why I have teamed up with Unilever to spread the word about child hunger. Unilever has put together an AMAZING short documentary called “Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger” I have embedded it below so you can watch it too!

    There are a few ways that you can help get involved in fight child hunger in the US.

    1. Share A Meal Potluck – Host neighboring families for a dinner and invite a family in need to join
    2. Get Your Community Involved – Partner with a local community organization to host community potluck in your area
    3. Local Food Drives – Organize your very own food drive or utilize the Feeding America online Food Bank Locator tool to get in touch with a local food and volunteer at a food drive
    4. Host a Virtual Food Drive – Plan a virtual food drive with measurable goals online using the Feeding America Personal Fundraiser tool and promote participation in your community

    To learn more about how to get involved by going to www.ProjectSunlight.us.  I encourage you to take a selfie with your own #ShareAMeal story – tag me Twitter so we can continue the conversation together!

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.

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