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.