As neighbors and members of the same communities, we share many of the same hopes and fears and we all want what’s best for our families. One of the fundamental differences between us is that some of us know where our next meal is coming from and some do not. One in six Oregonians face food insecurity. They struggle silently and make heart-wrenching decisions that nobody should have to make. The need for food is essential and immediate. Without the basic security of knowing when you will eat next it is difficult to focus on anything else. The daily fight to survive can consume your life.
Felicia lives in Coos Bay Oregon and is grateful for your generosity.
"I've really noticed the difference in my skin and body since I got poor. It seems like such a contradiction, but I gained weigh being homeless. I don't even look like me anymore. I've always been a person who was really conscious and careful about what I put in my body. I know what I'm eating now is not good food, but my alternative is to eat nothing.
I lost my job and it only takes about three months for everything to go crazy. All of a sudden you're struggling. I was a web developer and I worked for a company that just up and moved to Tennessee. They said, "If you guys want to move to Tennessee, then make your way there and we'll give you an interview." Not even a job, just an interview. How were we going to make our way to Tennessee?
I'm starting all over. I went from a nice salary to a minimum wage job at a call center. I'm grateful, because there are people who don't have that, but at the same time my health issues are increasing because I have no money."
Felicia participated in Oregon Food Bank's Voices Project. It takes courage to stand up and tell your story so that others might better understand what it means to live with food insecurity. We want to thank the women and men who decided to share their thoughts and experiences with us. Their stories provide us with valuable insight and help us better accomplish our mission to eliminate hunger and its root causes ... because no one should be hungry.