On a cold, rainy Monday morning Alejandra and her sister Marisol stand in line to receive food for their family at one of the Food Bank’s monthly food distributions in southeast San Diego. The sisters, in their late twenties, huddle together to stay warm.
Alejandra moved in with Marisol and her husband two years ago to help Marisol take care of her three young children. “My sister needed help with the kids so I moved in, and I was able to watch the children while Marisol was at work,” said Alejandra. “She worked days and I worked nights so one of us was always home to take care of them. None of us knew what would happen afterwards though.” she added.
After Alejandra moved in, Marisol’s husband lost his job in construction, and Marisol was laid off from her job as a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn. Then Alejandra lost her restaurant job. “Times have been really tough. We keep looking for work but we can’t find anything. Marisol’s husband gets odd jobs as a handyman and Marisol has a little work cleaning houses, and somehow we manage to scrape by, but it’s really hard,” said Alejandra.
Often the cupboard is bare at home Alejandra explains, apart from a little rice and beans. “Our main concern is the kids. We will skip food sometimes or not eat much so the kids have enough. Fortunately our church has been able to help us, and we have been coming to the Food Bank every month. The food we get here really helps,” says Alejandra as she is handed a box of fresh produce by a Food Bank volunteer. Alejandra and Marisol’s story reflects the impact of the economy on working families throughout San Diego County who have been forced turn to the Food Bank for help.
Thanks to the Food Bank’s supporters we are able to provide a safety net for Alejandra and Marisol’s family and thousands of families like theirs who face the same struggle putting food on the table every day. As she places the last bag of food in their car, Alejandra turns and says, “We pray that things will get better because without hope there’s nothing.” And to finish that thought Alejandra gently puts her arm around her sister and says, “She’s my hope. We’ll get through this together.”