As parents, we always worry about our children. Are they safe? Are they healthy? Are they warm enough? Are they eating well? For Maria Juarez, 43, it’s no different. “One of my biggest worries is having enough money to buy food,” Maria said, “It’s the worst feeling for any parent to not be able to feed your family.”
Maria is a mother of three kids, Ellery, 12, Christian, 10, and Sandi, 9. Christian and Sandi go to Carver Elementary, one of four schools participating in our Feeding San Diego’s Kids Program. Her husband Jesus, is a gardener and the sole financial provider for the family of five. Maria has had to quit multiple jobs to take care of her son, Christian, who has a rare blood disease and needs constant treatment.
Unfortunately, her husband’s income sometimes is not enough to pay for everything they need. After paying rent, electricity, gas, and medicine, “we sometimes have very little money left to buy food,” Maria said. Thanks to our Feeding San Diego’s Kids program, they receive a weekly backpack filled with items such as peanut butter, milk, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, and many other things.
When the kids receive their backpacks each Friday, “they feel like they are receiving a Christmas present!” Maria said with a smile. Christian’s favorite items in the backpack are the crackers and the spaghetti. “I look forward to the weekend because I get to eat my favorite foods!” Christian added with an even bigger smile. Maria is even grateful they get a few snacks like crackers because “snacks were luxury items we could never afford. Those treats make my kids happy and it makes me happy as well!”
“I am beyond grateful! I feel relief every weekend because I know my kids will be fed and will get the nutrition they need to grow healthy, which is what every parent wants,” exclaimed Maria. “I feel so happy that there are programs that care about helping families like ours. I hope this program continues to grow so it can help other families as well.”