“It’s just that it feels like I try and I never get over that. I’ve been working since I was sixteen, but it’s like I can’t get hold of anything. It’s like when I do qualify for once to receive some of the programs that the government has, I’m always told that I have to pay a higher co-pay than everybody else. I do thank God for me having to pay $60, compared to if I had to pay for her which would be $250, but it’s just hard."
Quiana has been working since the age of sixteen. She lives in a nice neighborhood, where she is purchasing her own home from her mother. Just because Quiana lives in a better environment than some of the other witnesses does not make her immune to hunger. Quiana became pregnant during her last year of high school, but managed to still graduate. She chose to have her child because “abortion is just an escape.” She had another child nine years later.
Skipping meals so that she can provide for her children is not uncommon for Quiana. When she first joined Witnesses to Hunger, her food stamps had been cut off because of an increase of hours in her work schedule. Along with this huge loss, she was also informed that her day care co-pay was increased from $25 to $60.
Quiana looks up to her mother, “who does it all”. Her mother works a full-time job at a university and also works part-time at a nursing home. She maintains this work schedule while also going to school and caring for Quiana’s younger brothers, ages eleven and thirteen. Quiana had begun taking classes at a community college but she had to discontinue her dream because she was unable to afford the cost. It is no wonder that it is Quiana’s ambition to go back to school to go into the nursing field, to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a caring, devoted parent to her children.