This Mother’s Goal is to Provide
With her 9-month-old son on her arm, Yang walks through the doors of her local elementary school to join some of her other children at the monthly food distribution. She attends each distribution because she sees it as an opportunity to provide for her kids, her family and stay connected to the community.
Originally from Laos and living in Minnesota since the early 1990’s, Yang grew up knowing what it was like to have nothing. As a child, she first moved with her family to California, where it was difficult to find work and she struggled with her own education. She remembers being hungry at times and having nothing.
When Yang started her own family, her goal was simple – to provide. She wanted to create a life where her children would have enough food on the table, opportunities to learn, goals and the resources to help them achieve their goals.
Today, as a mother of four raising children ranging from 9-months old to a teenager, providing for them can be difficult. “We can’t afford our bills sometimes. Even though we’re working hard, it’s hard,” Yang said.
Worry is a part of her daily life. Worry that she won’t have enough money for bills and food.
With the food available at the elementary school’s Food + You distribution, her worries are eased from time to time. At the distribution, she collects fruits and vegetables, bread and a box of rice, beans and other more shelf stable items, where you can almost see the relief on her face.
Yang leaves knowing that not only does she have enough for her family, but maybe even enough to share with some of her relatives and neighbors. Providing for the family and friends that support her makes her proud. “I know that they [my relatives] are in need too,” Yang said. “My sister and brother help me take care of my kids and I need to make sure they have food for their kids too.”
Each day, one in 10 of our neighbors, just like Yang, are at risk of being hungry. That rate is even higher for children with one in six children struggling with hunger each day.
Visit our programs page to learn more about our work towards ending hunger for families in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.