Being a young family in Silicon Valley is not without its difficulties and many young families have a hard time making ends meet as they work to build a brighter future for their kids. Robert and Annie are a young couple raising their daughter, Abby, in San Jose. The food they receive from Second Harvest provides fresh, nutritious options for Abby, and members of both their families. Due to the high cost of living in this area, Annie and Abby live with Annie’s parents and brother while Robert lives with his mother and brother.
Robert, a special education teaching assistant working with autistic children, is one of the many people in our community who does a vital job but does not make a wage that allows him to live comfortably. “Every morning I wake up and I’m excited about the work that I do. I’m motivated. When those kids do something great, I’ve done something great.” With his mother struggling with diabetes, Robert had to leave college early to take on the responsibility of a full-time job to support his mother, brother and daughter.
Despite the constant day to day pressures, Robert wants to be there for his daughter and will do whatever it takes to give Abby a great life – Including accepting assistance from organizations like Second Harvest. “I’d never say I’m too good to get help. There’s always a time where everyone in life needs help. You just need to be willing to open up your mouth and say, ‘Hey, I need help.’ Growing up I learned that closed mouths don’t get fed.” Robert eventually wants to finish his degree but for now, his focus is on his daughter.
“She’s everything. It’s all for Abby. When I have a little bit of time, it’s all hers, at the end of the day. My daughter is everything.”
Annie, Abby’s mother, is a full-time student at a local community college, studying nutrition with the hopes of becoming a dietician. Living with her parents and autistic brother, there are five people across three generations sharing one home. Annie’s dad has been an insurance agent for nearly 30 years, working full-time to keep their family together in the house they rent. “Right now we get the Food Bank food and CalFresh. My whole family benefits from the food from Second Harvest. We get onions, broccoli, celery, carrots… With the food basket we get from Second Harvest, we definitely don’t have to worry about vegetables.”
Annie and Robert work hard every day and see the help from the Food Bank as a means to a thriving future for their family, especially their daughter Abby. Robert said, “Second Harvest does outstanding work and it’s especially a lot of help for us… You give back to the community and we’ll make ourselves better.”
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