The urgent need for food brought mom Emily and
her two children, Mason and Gianna, to the Interfaith Outreach food shelf. But for this family, and so many of our neighbors, hunger was a warning sign of larger challenges.
Emily moved to the Twin Cities for a better job, schools and child care for her family. When daughter Gianna was only three months old, Emily suddenly became a single mom relying on one income. While she had a good job as a paralegal, her income wasn’t enough to pay all the essential bills, keep the car running so she could get to work, and have food in the house on a regular basis.
One day Emily found herself looking into a nearly empty refrigerator.
Emily and her kids were in an all-too-common situation—making a little too much to qualify for county assistance, but not enough to make ends meet. One of her neighbors told her about Interfaith Outreach.
Emily worked with Debi Fink, an Interfaith case manager, to figure out a budget—a plan. She received temporary rental assistance freeing up money to work on her goal of paying off credit cards. Interfaith helped put new tires on her car so it was safe to drive in the winter. A Caring for Kids scholarship helped pay for Gianna’s daycare to get her in a great spot for kindergarten. And, there was once again food in the fridge!
Emily was well on the way to financial independence. Then COVID-19 hit.
Mason’s school closed. Gianna’s daycare temporarily closed. With two kids at home, the food budget doubled. Then, like so many others, Emily’s job was eliminated.
Emily connected with the Interfaith Employment Services Team. “I’ve never been laid off before and their support gave me peace of mind and the confidence to find a new paralegal job,” said Emily.
If the pandemic has reminded us of anything, it’s that we need more than food to prevent hunger in our community. Hunger is inextricably linked to poverty, unemployment and other challenges that put families and individuals in crisis—challenges that Interfaith Outreach has decades of experience addressing right here in our community.
“Interfaith’s support will forever have an impact on our lives. When you provide money or food, it’s literally helping families – especially kids – enrich their lives and create a better tomorrow. You are doing a beautiful thing for people you’ve never met.” -Emily