Bailey and her husband had just bought a house. Her 7-year-old son was in a good school, and Bailey is on track to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. They were feeling like their life was going well – until coronavirus hit the Heartland. Within a couple of weeks, everything changed.
The company where her husband worked for the past three years laid off about a third of their workforce, and Bailey’s part-time job as a gymnastics instructor ended because “you can’t very well help kids with gymnastics from far away.” Her son’s school has closed, perhaps for the rest of the school year.
“We haven’t even made our first house payment yet, and all this happened,” she said. “We’re kind of like, ‘Well, we’ve closed and moved. We’ll just have to make it work.’”
She said the couple has been selling extra things around the house they don’t need, and her husband is hoping he’ll be able to pick up a few shifts at a fast-food restaurant where he used to work. Bailey’s college classes are continuing online, but she has to go to her parents’ house or a nearby McDonald’s because she doesn’t have good internet access at their rural home.
Because of their situation, Bailey visited a recent Covid-19 Response Mobile food distribution for the first time recently.
“They were very efficient,” she said of the volunteers. “I pulled up, and maybe 10 minutes later we were through the line and ready to go back home. Everything they put in the box were things that we would eat.”
Especially the box of Paw Patrol gummy snacks. The Paw Patrol cartoon is her son’s favorite.
“He said, “Mom, they must have known I was coming,’” Bailey said. “The one thing you hate as a parent is going into a store and telling your kids, ‘No you can’t have that because we don’t have the money.’ I’m so glad they had those because then he felt like he got something too.”
Bailey’s family is one of many newly in need since the Covid-19 outbreak forced temporary layoffs at businesses throughout southeast Missouri. As the primary nonprofit addressing hunger in our community, Southeast Missouri Food Bank has responded to the crisis by distributing more food to families in need. We have increased food distributions to our member agencies and are holding special Covid-19 Response Mobile food distributions throughout our 16-county service area.
If you would like to help us feed the many families like Bailey’s, please consider a gift to the food bank. You can donate online or mail a check to PO Box 190, Sikeston, MO 63801. Please flag your donation for Covid-19 Response.