Feeding Hope: Nicole's Story

Nicole joked that her time waiting in line at the Mobile Market was her “me time.” That’s a rarity with seven people at home.

Nicole came to the Mobile Market for the first time to help make sure she can provide food for her family. Her husband works full time, and she works part time while also running a small catering business she began after attended culinary school. In addition to her own kids, she’s also raising her sister’s two children. Her sister passed away in 2015.

Nicole’s household income is too high for her family to receive SNAP benefits, but it’s too low to meet all their basic needs. “We live pretty simply because we have to. We don’t have cable. We don’t go out. We stay home. I try to do outdoors things with the kids, but we can’t go to places. It’s expensive to go to Silverwood or anywhere like that for a family like us, and we didn’t expect to raise two other kids. Just all of a sudden she passed away.”

Fortunately, Nicole’s mom helps take care of the kids. Still, it’s very stressful to make sure everyone has what they need on such a tight budget. Nicole described what it’s like to not know if they’ll have enough food for her whole family. “Scary… it’s very scary. It feels like you can’t provide for your family when you have to come to these things (free food distributions).”

The food Nicole received from the Mobile Market would help her feed her family and alleviate some of her stress for a few weeks. She especially appreciated the local produce—something she’d like to buy more of, but is often too expensive.

In the future, Nicole hopes to grow her catering business into a food truck. She and her husband, who have been married for three years, also hope to buy a house in the next decade. She has even bigger dreams for her kids. “I want them to live in a world where they don’t have to worry about poverty.”