Our Executive Director, Chris King, recently had the opportunity to visit with one of the families served by Hungry Souls. Please continue reading to hear her story. We will call the mom Nancy in order to protect her privacy.

Nancy is a mom in her 20s with two elementary-aged children. One has a significant developmental disability with secondary health issues while the other suffers from PTSD from witnessing her mother’s abuse. Nancy and her children moved to Austin a couple of years ago to escape their abusive home. Finally, suffering a broken jaw, Nancy packed their belongings and escaped while the abusive boyfriend was in jail.

Their first year in Austin was particularly difficult. After six months of living in her van, Nancy had to sell it to earn some cash. She and the kids then spent six months in a local shelter. They now have their own one-bedroom apartment in a subsidized housing unit.

Nancy is a foodie who was in culinary school when she had to quit in order to escape her abusive situation. She wants to own her own restaurant someday but is paying her dues and learning as a line cook. Unfortunately, even with government assistance, she can’t quite make ends meet while providing for her children’s special needs.

Nancy has endured hearing her homeless children cry themselves to sleep at night from hunger. She has searched for food in dumpsters, picking bugs out of it so they would have something to eat. 

Her father always told her that people who offer to help just want something in return. Too often, she has found this to be true, but not with Hungry Souls. The ministry extends love and compassion without asking anything in return. Nancy says that it helps to know that they will have good food on weekends and school breaks. She loves the recipes and keeps them all in a notebook hoping to use some of them in her own restaurant someday.

Nancy’s kids are now thriving. Her daughter is making all A’s and loves to dance and sing. Her son loves to play sports, sing, make others laugh, and enjoy time with animals. They often visit the animal shelter so that he can play with the dogs. Hungry Souls has helped to provide them with the nutrition and security they need to heal and grow.

Thank you for reading Nancy’s story. If you would like to provide for families like Nancy’s, please check out our donor page here. During this challenging season, the need is greater than ever.