According to the results of a Gallup poll titled In U.S., Single-Parent Households Struggle More to Buy Food, released yesterday, 31% of single parents reported struggling to provide food for their children at some point during the 12 months leading up to the study.
This is known as "food insecurity" -- not having consistent access to adequate, nutritious food sources. And that's one of the worst experiences for parents who live -- quite literally -- to support and nurture our children. Imagine for a moment what that's like. It's a problem tends to be worse in the summer, too, because the National Free Lunch Program only runs during the school year.
So what can you do if you find yourself in this position? First, visit govbenefits.gov to see what programs you may be eligible for. Try calling your state's 2-1-1 service, too, or contact a food pantry in your area. And if you're pregnant or have children under five, see if you're eligible for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Check in with your local faith-based organizations and community groups, as well, because many of them set up summer lunch programs or can help you access the food pantry on "off" days.
In addition, get to know the employees at your local grocery store. Find out when they discount items like produce and meat, and if it's feasible, try to arrange your shopping trips around those times.
And if you've been on the receiving end and are now in a position to help someone else, drop a few jars of peanut butter or your favorite pasta sauce off at your local food pantry!
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