Weather Shouldn’t Decide if You’ll Have Enough Money for Food

Client story - Katie and Matt header

December 27, 2017 By: Marie Pauley Category: SHH News

Warm summer months, crisp fall evenings, bitter winters and rainy springs:  living in Minnesota, people experience the extremes.  Long-time residents lightheartedly joke of a fifth season – road construction season.

For Katie, Matt and their family, that “fifth season” is the most meaningful one. Matt works in road construction. When weather cooperates, Matt has six to eight months in which he makes the bulk of his pay. This is usually enough to provide for himself, Katie and their two little girls. Ariana is seven and Keara is nine.

However, this year winter will be a struggle. There is no money coming in and they’re still digging out of medical and funeral expenses from the unexpected death of their baby daughter last year.

Matt and Katie are still doing their best to provide for their family. They can’t choose between paying their bills and having a meal on the table for Ariana and Keara. Now that work has stopped, the cost of food has soared, and money is tight, Katie turns to SNAP.

“It’s taken pressure off Matt and me,” Katie explains. “It’s been a godsend for us. It meant we could still put a decent meal on the table and not live on noodles. It means we can buy more fruits and vegetables. In wintertime, that’s the most expensive time to be buying that kind of stuff.”

One in ten Minnesotans just like Matt and Katie have to make decisions every day between meals for their family and other priorities like utilities or rent. They have to make nearly impossible decisions with no easy answer.

Second Harvest Heartland and our partners make a powerful difference for families who are struggling. We help connect them to their nearest food shelf, meal programs and to additional resources like SNAP. But there is more work to do before we can say not a single person around us worries about food.

You can help by making a gift today. Just $1 helps provide three meals for families just like Katie and Matt's.


Katie and Matt’s story was collected in collaboration with No Kid Hungry.


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