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When Hunger Strikes

Field Report by Lauryn Vickers

NORTH CAROLINA – As a single mother, LaToya has worked hard to provide for her daughter, Zakeya. For years LaToya held down multiple jobs, including working as a security guard at a local university. But her proudest achievement is raising her child, an honor student in the fourth grade.

Bringing up Zakeya alone hasn’t been easy for Latoya, though. “It’s a struggle,” Latoya said. “It’s like living paycheck to paycheck. I had to take two jobs to try to pay rent, the light bill. It’s very hard being a single mom, but I’m not going to give up. It’s not an option.”

When Food Insecurity Strikes, Hunger Is Not Far Behind

When the coronavirus hit the United States, Latoya saw her already-shaky world completely rocked. Her four-day-a-week work scheduled was suddenly slashed to two. She fervently sent out resumes to several businesses, but no one was hiring. Bills were piling up, and she was behind in rent.

She said, “I cried, because I didn’t know what to do.” Latoya had a job and income but it was not enough. Many families find themselves in the same financial position where they cannot afford all their basic needs. This kind of food insecurity problem is a very common: a reduction or loss of employment reduces income. Accordingly, reduced income means it is now harder to afford food.


But hope lay just over the horizon to end this food insecurity problem. Operation Blessing has been partnering with Eastern Star Church of God to serve Latoya’s community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, socially-distanced food distributions have offered a miracle for many families in the community. Families that facing food scarcity issues, and in need of hunger relief, can get help. Latoya heard of the food distributions and immediately visited the church. Your generosity helped make it possible for volunteers to safely place bags full of groceries directly into their car to help feed Latoya and Zakeya!

“It makes me feel happy, and I’m proud that there’s people out here that want to help us and are helping other people that struggle,” Latoya said. “Without you, I don’t believe we could make it the way we are right now. Thank you so much because this is truly a blessing to a lot of families.”

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