With school out for the summer, Curtis will finally be able spend quality time with his children. It’s not every day he gets to see his son nerd out about computers or experience the art and music his daughter is into. His children live with their mom year round, but they spend all the school breaks with their dad.
Instead of thinking about a fun summer with his children, Curtis has something else on his mind. With the kids at home, he’s worried about having breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table for them.
At just 13, his son is as tall as him and his 11-yeard old daughter isn’t far behind. With two growing children, that means food doesn’t last long at home.
“My son is quite large, you know, he’s my size so he just eats a lot,” Curtis said.
The cheap rent at Copperas Cove brought the Dallas native to the small town, but it’s still hard to make ends meet even with his work-from-home tech support job.
“Everything is quite expensive and pretty much if you’re not making $20 an hour, you’re not going to make it anywhere and I think it gets harder in this town,” Curtis said. “I have to keep that stay-at-home job because if I don’t, I’m stuck.”
Though he works full time, his checks have been slim lately. With 10 hours of time spent a day speaking for work, a throat illness prevented him from doing his job.
His trip to the doctor cost him $300, cutting into in to his ability to pay his rent and utilities.
The lights in his home were eventually cut off. The reconnection fee and late fees for the rest of his expenses set him back even further.
“I did go to a clinic to have a doctor tell me that if I had anything, I most likely was at the end of it. And they sent me a bill for $300. I had to pay $125 extra in rent for missing time and having to wait. My electricity got turned off and I had to pay a reconnect fee. Yeah, I’ve pretty much been on the edge,” he said.
His economic situation worsened even more when his grandmother passed away and he had to miss days of work once again.
After paying all his expenses, Curtis had nothing left to buy food for his kids over the summer and ensure they had a meal on the table.
But he knew he could count on the food pantry down the street for help. He hadn’t set foot in the pantry since January, but the staff remembered him and welcomed him with a smile.
At our Partner Agency, Holy SVDP, Curtis was given a grocery cart full of food with potatoes, noodles, rice, bread, canned fruit and vegetables and even some snacks for his children.
“When I get my kids for breaks and holidays, or when sometimes money is tight, this really does come in handy to keep them fed when they’re under my care,” Curtis said
Though there wasn’t as much produce available at the pantry on the day he went, he was excited to learn about the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry coming to the area.
A smile spread across his face when he found out he could get fresh produce at the mobile pantry, something he couldn’t afford for his children at the moment.
“After paying my bills, I really didn’t have anything left, so I’m thankful that stuff like this is around,” Curtis said. “I appreciate the things you guys have donated.”
We’re proud to serve fathers like Curtis across Central Texas. Thanks to our supporters, fathers have one less thing to worry about and can enjoy Father’s Day and the rest of the summer with their children knowing their kids have full stomachs.
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing fathers in our community!