A single mother, Staci works full-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) but still can’t afford all the nutritious food her young daughters need to stay active and healthy. Each month, she joins almost 400 other struggling families to receive fresh produce and other nourishing foods at GBFB’s School-based Pantry at the Connery School in Lynn.
This is Staci’s story.
“I’ve never not had a job. Since I was 16 years old, the only time I ever took off was a few weeks after each of my daughters was born. Even while I was studying to get my CNA license, I worked. But it’s not easy – especially when the prices keep going up, but my pay stays the same – and no matter how hard I work, I can’t seem to get ahead. Once you get down, it’s very, very hard to get back up.
“Every parent wants to be better than their parents were, but I have felt like I couldn’t give my kids everything they need and deserve. It’s a very stressful feeling in the bottom of your stomach, when you know that you want to do something for them, or you want to give them something, and you can’t.
“Most people don’t realize that just because you’re going to a food pantry, it doesn’t mean you’re not working, or unwilling to work, or didn’t get laid off. It doesn’t mean something happened so you just can’t work! It just means you need help.
“The Connery School Pantry makes it a little easier on me. And it’s better for my girls because they wake up in the morning and they know there’s something for breakfast, because we get whole grain cereals and bread from the pantry. They can come home from school and know there are snacks that are good for them. They know at dinnertime, there will be meat as well as some kind of fresh fruit and vegetables.
“Compared to when we didn’t have the school pantry, I’ve noticed a positive difference in their grades at school. In addition to the healthier foods, I think it’s because I’m not as stressed about everything, so they’re not as stressed about everything. It all works in some strange way, that it helps everybody.
“I honestly don’t know what I would do without the school pantry.”
You can help moms like Staci: visit www.gbfb.org/donate.