Jacquie’s shoes were given to her by a friend.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“Eating. Having enough food for myself, my husband and my three children. I usually don’t eat. My husband eats a lot. I go to food banks often. I do the circuit of food banks within walking distance. I don’t drive and I have to carry everything home. Some of the cans of food are outdated by more than a year and then I have to throw them out. It’s not that I’m not grateful for what I’m given; I just don’t want my kids to get sick”.
“There are a lot of places that help me out. This place (homeless shelter) helps me out a lot. That’s why I volunteer here. To give back. It teaches my kids- they’re 4, 9 and 10 years old- to give to the community as they give to us.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“I struggle everyday. Don’t judge a book by its cover! I work my butt off to make ends meet. In the summertime, I work building concrete. I push a heavy wheelbarrow all day long.”
“Tell people not to lose hope. You can do it but it will be a struggle. There are good people around to help you out.”
Jacquie left to retrieve her children from school the day I spoke to her. She returned with them to the shelter as Santa Claus had stopped by. Her children passed on the pasta that was being served. They woofed down peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and spread peanut butter on crackers for an after school snack. When I say “woofed down”, this is because they ate while standing as soon as the sandwich was made. Poverty = Hunger.