Jeanette was surviving on her children’s leftover food scraps.
Jeanette was a stay-at-home mum, living a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in Logan, when everything changed overnight. Very soon, Jeanette was terrified and unwell. She was going hungry.
Mum-of-four Jeanette and her partner owned a thriving martial arts business. They never had to struggle. Then, one day, Jeanette’s partner unexpectedly said he was leaving for another woman. He froze her out of their business and took all the money from their shared account.
Having spent the last decade as a full-time parent, Jeanette had limited job training and prospects. Her ex was now refusing to pay child support. She had no idea how she would provide for her four children, ages from 7 to 20, completely on her own.
“My children were devastated. They didn’t understand. We had to give our family dog away because we couldn’t afford to feed him. It was the worst feeling.” – Jeanette
Jeanette’s rent combined with car loan repayments was more than she could afford, but she had no choice. Then the family received more terrible news. Her eight-year-old son, Patterson, was diagnosed with a rare cancer. He needed several months of life-saving treatment. It was a heartbreaking, overwhelming time, made worse as Jeanette struggled to feed her family.
To keep dinner on the table, Jeanette would carefully plan her shopping list, to the last cent. She’d always served her kids fruit and vegetables. But her low single income did not cover the healthy foods growing kids need. “Dinner was usually built around frozen vegetables and two-minute noodles.” – Jeanette
So that her kids didn’t go hungry, Jeanette would go without proper meals, often for a week at a time. She’d try to hide her hunger – especially from her children.
“I’d have swigs of milk, a slice of bread, or drink lots of water to stay full. Whatever the kids didn’t eat after dinner, if there were peas or anything on their plates, I’d just scoff them down. I was sick and depressed.” – Jeanette
At the scariest time in her life, Jeanette got thrown a lifeline. A friend who knew her struggles said that a Foodbank Member Charity could provide her with food essentials. “From that moment, I felt this huge relief: I knew I would eat that night,” she says.
Because of Foodbank supporters like you, later that day Jeanette went home with a box of fruit and vegetables, cheese, butter, canned goods, pasta, and even some sausages.
“The kids thought it was Christmas! From that moment, I felt this huge relief. I knew we would eat well that night. Over the next 18 months, I was grateful to receive Foodbank’s support while I got back on my feet. I could make good home-cooked meals for my kids, like tuna mornay and apricot chicken.” – Jeanette
Something relatively simple – but vital – like having regular meals was life-changing for Jeanette. Soon, her physical and mental health improved with proper nutrition. She gained strength and determination to study and worked towards a new career. Today she is making a difference as a Carer, to people with major spinal injuries. In some more great news, Patterson is in remission from cancer and Jeanette can afford to feed him healthy food that keeps him feeling great.
“Being able to eat properly is one of the most important things in life. Support from Foodbank meant I could put time and money aside to study for a career that lets me support my family. Today I can focus on being a positive parent and moving forward with my career. If my children see me doing that, they will want the same.” – Jeanette
In a touching end to a very tough time, Jeanette’ family has also gained a wriggly, furry family member. Their dog Kobe is a source of joy. He reminds Jeanette how far she has come since she couldn’t afford to feed herself, let alone a pet.
“I’ve always wanted to say thank you to Foodbank supporters for playing a big role in my journey. Many single parents know what it’s like to go hungry like I did to keep their children fed. If it wasn’t for Foodbank I don’t know how I could have kept going.” – Jeanette
Your generosity will help families like Jeanette’s receive the essential groceries they need to get back on their feet.
Every $1 you donate will provide two nutritious meals to someone facing hunger like Jeanette. Thank you for making a difference.