Mike’s Story

Mike* and his family know that without food you can only focus on survival.

Accidents can see your life change in a heartbeat, seeing your income disappear in an instant. Without a steady income, how could you afford food?

Having moved from New Zealand, Mike was amazed at the salary and work available in Australia. This high quickly fell to a low after being dropped from 40 hours to 25 hours of work per week. Life threw more curveballs after Mike had a serious accident. Mike was unable to work for four months, which saw him fall behind on his rental payments. As a result, Mike, his wife Jenny, and their three children, aged 7, 11, and 13, were evicted from their long-term rental property. Their lives were turned upside down in an instant.

“Looking back at the house, looking at what we were and what we are now. It was a big gap. It was disappointing that I had let my family and my partner down and myself down.” – Mike

With nowhere to go, and with three children lost and confused, living became solely focused on survival. Where would they sleep? What would they eat? They had lost hope. The children showed incredible resilience but not knowing where their next meal would come from was hard.

“When I don’t have enough food, it affects my schoolwork cause I’m always tired and I want to sleep.” – Mike’s Daughter

Mike faced impossible choices, like choosing between paying for school supplies or buying food for his family. But without food, Mike knew he and his family could not survive. Their struggle wasn’t just about hunger; it was about coping with uncertainty and trying to provide during tough times.

“We were finding it hard on a daily basis to put food on the table, to make sure the kids had enough food to survive…I lost a lot of weight with stress, I mean I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep. You’ve got things such as excursions, books, and school fees, you’re weighing up like do I get this, or do I get food? And you’ve got to think about it, that without food, you’re not going to survive.” – Mike

Mike and his family found their hope at a Foodbank Member Charity, where they could access heavily discounted groceries and other essential items. This Foodbank Member Charity’s food hampers were made up of food collected from Foodbank Queensland. These food hampers became a vital lifeline for Mike and his family.

“We need the groceries at a minimum price, we needed that food to survive. So, I could focus on all the other bills that we needed to pay. Before we’d be living on baked beans and spaghetti and noodles. Then we had meat, we had veggies…and it would fill up the pantry for that week and the kids would be happy.” – Mike

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Being able to save money at the checkout allowed Mike and his family to get back on their feet. They were once again empowered. The children were provided with healthy and nutritious meals, meaning once again they could focus on schoolwork. Mike explained, “Food makes the kids happy because they know they’ve got something in their stomachs. It’s having the ability to actually feed your children and seeing them eat and be stronger and nourish their little minds.” – Mike

Even Mike himself is now going to work every day with a full stomach, choosing not to skip breakfast, Mike said, “I’d leave home early, I wouldn’t have breakfast. But now I have breakfast before I go to work, and it makes it a lot easier.”

Mike and his family have moved from just surviving to truly thriving. Thanks to Foodbank Queensland’s Member Charity, they now have a home where they can make new happy memories over delicious meals. Today, Mike is pleased to say that, “Instead of, where are we going to get the next meal? Or what are we going to eat? Instead of baked beans, we have dessert and, you know, a decent-sized meal. The kids absolutely love it.”

Thanks to the incredible support of the Foodbank Member Charity, Mike and his family were able to get back on their feet. Mike cannot express his thanks to Foodbank and when asked what he would say to those thinking of donating, “Without your support, Foodbank won’t be able to do what they’re doing every day. And provide for charities that people need in their lives. The more support Foodbank gets, it’s going to make a massive difference in everybody’s lives.” – Mike

Thanks to Foodbank Queensland’s supporters, families like Mike’s have access to fresh and nutritious food. If you are in a position to help Foodbank Queensland provide more food across the state to support Queenslanders in need, please consider joining the fight against hunger as a regular giver.

Names and images have been changed for privacy.