For the past several months, we’ve been honored to share stories about the work Feed the Children does in the United States and around the world. Since 1979, Feed the Children has been on the front lines of the fight to help kids be kids. Feed the Children provides food and other essentials to families in need, works with communities as they lift themselves out of poverty, and brings together individuals, corporations, churches, non-profits, and government to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry.
During these months, we’ve heard about single mothers, single fathers, two-parent families, and grandparents raising children. Each of these families is unique, with specific challenges and difficulties. But these stories also show us how much we all have in common— how much we share.
We all want what’s best for the people we love.
We do the best we can with what we have.
And we need one another.
This month we meet a family from small town Tennessee. Debbie and Jacob are parents to twin girls, Ashly and Samantha, age 6.
Jacob remembers the feeling of finding out he was going to be a father two times over. “It was actually a breathtaking moment,” he says. “I almost passed out in the doctor’s office.” Any parent can relate to feeling both overjoyed and overwhelmed, especially parents of multiples.
But two babies are a big adjustment to the family budget. “It’s double everything,” Jacob says. “It’s double the formula, double the diapers, double the baby food, double the clothes.” It can also be double the noise when they both cry at the same time.
Today, Ashley and Samantha are typical six year olds in many ways. They enjoy school, though like many young kids, recess is their favorite subject. When asked about their favorite things, their mother said without missing a beat: “their cowgirl boots.”
Jacob and Debbie work hard to make ends meet and provide for their girls. But there’s not a lot of economic opportunity in their town. Jacob has a job which provides needed income, but it means they’re not eligible for as much public assistance. Thankfully, the girls have never had to go to bed hungry. But the parents certainly have. Like most parents we’ve profiled, Debbie and Jacob willingly go without food so their kids have enough to eat. “You just do it,” Jacob says. They’ve also received support from the local food pantry, which provides not only food and clothing, but prayers, according to Debbie.
The girls benefit from free breakfast and lunch through the school, but summertime is a challenge because those services aren’t available. And back-to-school time is a particular hardship—the school sends home a long list of supplies. Jacob and Debbie will plan ahead and buy one item at a time, or they’ll just buy the bare minimum and hope the girls can get by on that. Like many families, this one is making it work—but organizations like Feed the Children are a key part of the puzzle.
God has given us a heart for families like Jacob and Debbie’s. Our movement is all about encouraging women to make an impact and serve this world Jesus loves so much. We’re proud to partner with Feed the Children, an organization that shares our heart for the hungry and the hurting. There are many ways you can support Feed the Children’s mission: by becoming a child sponsor, or supporting Feed America’s Children; by serving as an “ambassador” at one of their artist/music events, telling others about Feed the Children; or by volunteering at a local food distribution event in your town.