Chris was part of the Dallas Stars franchise front office staff when the NHL went on strike. He not only lost his job but also began falling further behind on bills. He even had to sell his Dallas Stars championship ring to make ends meet. Months and months passed and still, Chris couldn’t find employment. He lost his home, and soon he found that his cupboards were bare and he had no choice but to visit a food pantry. Chris visited CitySquare’s food pantry and began receiving food assistance. He also received assistance applying for SNAP benefits and applying for an AmeriCorps position. Three years later, Chris enrolled in college, has full-time employment with benefits, and no longer needs food assistance or SNAP benefits.
Sabrina takes care of her elderly mother, who is in her 80s, and also has custody of her four grandchildren. Sabrina found that with the extra responsibility, it became more difficult to put enough food on the table. Sabrina received assistance applying for SNAP and Medicaid from the SNAP Outreach program sponsored by NTFB at the CitySquare food pantry. Sabrina now receives monthly SNAP (about $700 a month, about $1.55 per meal, per person) and Medicaid benefits for herself, her grandchildren, and mother who live with her. She still occasionally visits the CitySquare food pantry to supplement her family’s food needs.
During the school year, Hector received free breakfast and lunch at school through the National School Lunch Program and Breakfast in the Classroom. During the summer, his mother Teresa was concerned about providing the extra meals, but also worried that he would be home alone because she couldn’t afford childcare. Teresa discovered that during the summer, the Food on the Move program would be at her apartment complex and could provide food for children who lived there through funding from the Summer Food Service Program. Because of Food on the Move, Teresa said that Hector received breakfast and lunch everyday while she was at work, was more active, and made many friends. Teresa and Hector were both very grateful for the food and activities provided by CitySquare, AmeriCorps, and the Summer Food Service Program.
Kevin a 40-year-old with mental and developmental disasbilities, receives $674 in monthly disability and lives in Section 8 housing where he pays $192 in rent. Kevin must take public transportation or walk everywhere he goes, as he cannot drive a car. Kevin receives only $40 a month in SNAP benefits (that’s less than $.45 per meal!) and must visit the CitySquare food pantry every month in order to have enough food to eat each month. Kevin receives the maximum amount of assistance available to him, and yet struggles to meet his basic needs. Since he is limited in his job and life skills, he is unable to earn wages to support himself. Kevin relies on regular assistance from local food pantries just to meet his basic food needs.