Tameka P.

After waiting in a food distribution line for food-insecure families, Tameka became part of an online conversation about food insecurity. Social media chatter criticized some of the people who were looking for support because of the cars they were driving. Even though Tameka’s car is more than 10 years old, commenters zeroed in on the car’s brand and cast judgement without knowing her whole story.

“Just because I have a car like that doesn’t mean I’m not in need.”

As a single parent, Tameka is her daughter’s only caregiver. For the last seven years, she has spent most of her time helping her daughter cope with the aftermath of a massive stroke that crippled their lives as they had known it.

“They wanted to know (if I) was going to come back to work full time, or part time and I really didn’t know.”

As her daughter gets older, kids at school have noticed she’s different and have started to taunt her. Tameka is frequently at the school addressing issues with counselors and teachers. In an effort to help alleviate the bullying, Tameka makes decisions to spend her money on items insurance won’t cover yet help improve her daughter’s quality of life.

“It’s important because I don’t want her to get bullied at school. I don’t want her to get talked about at school.”

Without much of a budget, Tameka found herself unable to afford all her bills and put food on the table. When she turned to social services for support, she was introduced to programs that help with housing and other expenses.

“By the end of the month when everything is gone, that’s when it’s a stretch.”

Tameka has spent years struggling to find peace and continues to work on her self-confidence. With therapy, friends, family members, and a solid showing of community support, Tameka is hopeful that things will get better.

“You know it’s not going to be perfect, 100 percent, every day, but you will have good days.”


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