“What would you do if you were in my shoes? If you had to work two jobs to take care of your kids and it still wasn’t enough? And then the government tells you you can’t have Food Stamps to feed your kids…what would you do?”
Imani was profiled in the 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer series "A Portrait of Hunger" and has been featured on two CBS Evening News Stories in 2009 and 2010. Imani has also shared her story with Praise in the City on 103.9 WPPZ, Channel 6 Action News, the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
Imani is 32, with two boys ages 11 and 4. When she joined Witnesses to Hunger in 2008, she was working part-time as a janitor and struggling to make ends meet. “I took a picture of my pay stub because I don’t make enough money to support my children the way that I want to. I try to do overtime to cover all my bills. But the economy is so messed up, jobs don’t want to pay you what you’re qualified to be paid.” Imani is now working full time as a janitor.
Imani developed her work ethic from her mother. Imani’s mother led by example, doing the best she could to take care of her children, including working three jobs at once.
“To make money for us, she’d sell our appliances to pawnshops,” Imani said. “She once sold a toaster she’d gotten as a wedding gift. She sold a deep freezer she had. We didn’t need it no more cause we didn’t’ have all that much food.”
Imani is currently training to lead S.E.L.F. groups, and will soon be facilitating these support groups to help other parents involved in the Center's programs.
Click below to see Imani's testimony on the importance of the SNAP (food stamp) program. The video was made for the Coalition on Human Needs.