Louisiana is the third most food insecure state in the nation.
In a report released by “Hunger Free America,” more than 800,000 Louisiana residents have no idea when or if their next meal is coming. Nearly a quarter of those are children.
One Lafayette mom is among that number. She says that despite working three jobs, her children are part of the 273,000 who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Meghan Wiley sits on her front porch enjoying the late evening air with her two boys.
It’s the only time of day where all of her worries are pushed to the side. Here she can listen to her children talk about their day.
But other times are not as “carefree” for Meghan.
A single mom, Meghan’s fiance passed away when her youngest was only a few months old. Holding down three jobs, Meghan juggles with the uncertainties of keeping a roof over her children’s heads and food on the table.
And food is the part that has been most difficult for Meghan.
“I wasn’t always struggling like this,” says Wiley. “It’s hard.”
Looking inside her pantry, at times, makes her want to cry.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to say, ‘I’m not going to eat because my children have to eat,’ or ‘we can’t have this tonight because of whatever reason,'” says Wiley. “It’s a struggle.”
Recently, Meghan says she’s been able to get food from Foodnet, a place, Meghan says, without her kids would probably only get one meal and that would be at school.
And while she is thankful for the local non-profit, she does look forward to a day that worrying about food is no longer at the top of her list.