For years Chelle stocked a miniature food shelf in her garage. She and her husband ran a daycare for low-income families. About three times a week someone would ask them for help. She led them to her garage and said take whatever you need. They had more than enough.
Then the economy crashed. Their daycare attendance dropped from 12 kids to 5, and their income from $4000 a month to less than $1000. In a matter of months, they were destitute.
One day Chelle opened up the fridge and it was empty. She really didn’t want to apply for food stamps, but she couldn’t let her little girl go hungry – even if it meant swallowing her pride. Chelle and her husband are hard workers, working usually 60 hours a week each just to barely keep their heads above water, but it still wasn’t enough. They needed help. “It is hard, but I am grateful to have food stamps. It’s nice to know my daughter is taken care even when we can’t fully provide for her on our own,” Chelle says.
Chelle continues to say that education is the only way she can think of to pull her family up out of poverty. Right now she am enrolled in graduate school full time – on top of operating the daycare. It’s her dream that when she graduates, Chelle and her family can be self-sufficient again. Not only that, but that they can give back again as well.
“I want to be able to give my time and attention to people who are trying to change their circumstances. When you’re down and out, it takes a lot of support to turn your life around.”
It is programs like SNAP and local community organizations that help people like Chelle in her family get the hand-up they need to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient again. Because of the support of our Central Florida neighbors, more of our neighbors in need are not having to choose between necessities like housing and food.