Someone You Know Is Experiencing Food Insecurity


Five years ago, my most pressing grocery dilemma was deciding between organic and non-organic. Now I struggle to keep enough healthy and nutritious food in the house for my family of four. Last month I went to a food distribution center at a local church to stock our pantry.

Experiencing food insecurity went from a remote thing that happened to other people to an important factor in my daily life. I can’t fathom how I am in this position. 

I’m not making any less money than I was five years ago. In fact, I’m making more. In spite of this, my husband and I can barely make ends meet with the rising cost of food, goods, and services

There are people all around you experiencing food insecurity, whether you realize it or not. 

woman at the grocery store just looking
Cora Pursley. Dupe.

It’s probably happening to people who you’d never guess would be in this position. Because I never, ever imagined I would ever go to a food shelf to feed my kids. My husband and I have a home and we both work. We have college degrees. It’s not enough. We earn too much to receive any type of government assistance, but not enough to pay all our expenses. My husband and I are both actively looking for more work and applying to jobs every day. 

I don’t know why I am writing this, except I have to believe I can’t be the only one in the position of experiencing food insecurity. But it feels like I am. Not having enough to eat is shameful and isolating. It feels lonely, confusing, embarrassing, and scary. Talking about it is the last thing I want to do.

With hindsight, I can see clearly how my husband and I made some poor financial decisions over the years. We built up too much debt and not enough savings, but despite every effort to right this imbalance, including living without credit cards for many years now, we still haven’t been able to get ahead in any way. 

We can’t afford vacations, have a minimal budget for clothing, and often flip or resell items to cover unexpected expenses.

There are decisions we have made in the last year that I never imagined we’d have to make:

  • We’ve canceled family outings or playdates because I couldn’t afford to put gas in the car 
  • I delayed doctor visits for myself because I couldn’t pay the co-pay
  • We’ve delayed dental care for my whole family because the cost is astronomical
  • I have even discouraged my children from participating in extracurriculars because we couldn’t afford the costs

Two years ago, our weekly grocery bill was around $130 to $150, now it’s close to $200. We don’t eat out at all unless you count the food court at Costco. 

I recently talked with a budget-friendly dietician and she told me that she used to be able to give clients tips about how to stretch their grocery budget, and now she can only suggest adding more money to their grocery budget. I don’t know about you, but my family of four is not surviving on $800 of groceries each month. 

We have one car, don’t pay for cable, don’t drink or buy fancy lattes every day. Most of the advice people give, we’ve already done. 

What are we not considering? What else can we do? And, if this is all we can do, where does this leave us? Our kids are still young and don’t yet eat like grown adults. This will change. Housing costs will increase. How are others experiencing food insecurity surviving this?


Pin this post and be sure to follow Vermont Moms on Pinterest!

Someone You Know Is Experiencing Food Insecurity

Vermont Moms Insiders get exclusive content, so sign up today!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here