What Hunger Looks Like for Abbey
“I don’t look poor," Abbey said. “But I had these clothes before we got really poor. It happened so fast, you know, just all of a sudden, you’re in a spot where you can’t do anything about it. And if you have kids, there’s not a lot of choices.”
Abbey lives in Buffalo, Minn. with her family. They recently moved there after her husband decided to stop his work as a pastor in Wyoming. Now he’s taking classes to become a high school science teacher. Abbey is a crochet designer. She sells her patterns to large yarn companies and teaches classes in fiber arts.
As her husband finishes school, money is a little tight. The classes her husband needs to finish his degree are in the daytime, which means he can’t make extra money as a substitute teacher like he has in the past.
Every decision Abbey makes is for her three children and as they work together to get through this tough time, Abbey and her husband decided to apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
“We survived for a bit without it,” Abbey explains, “then realized that we need it, so I applied. People need to realize poverty looks different in America. We don’t look a certain way. You think of people in other countries, and they have distended bellies. We’re just trying to feed our kids.”
Abbey’s knows that their situation is temporary and she’s thankful for the ability to keep her family not just fed, but also healthy.
“We wouldn’t be as healthy without SNAP. With SNAP, we can buy fresh fruit. We can go to the store once a week and get things that are healthy for us, not just to fill our bellies, but to actually be healthy people. And to be able to give my kids fruit every day and veggies every day, that’s so important.”
As Abbey said, hunger in the U.S. and right here in Minnesota looks different than what many of us imagine. But, that doesn’t mean hunger doesn’t exist. In fact, one in ten people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin do not know where their next meal is coming from. We know that for every one person that’s hungry there are nine that can help.
Abbey’s story was collected in collaboration with No Kid Hungry.