Julie and her husband are educated and hardworking, and they’re loving parents to their 5-year-old son, Mikey. But when he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their world suddenly turned upside down.
“After his diagnosis, Mikey required a lot of therapy that drained our bank account,” Julie says. At first, she thought about getting a job. But the couple quickly realized that was not an option because Mikey would require her time.
“We never saw ourselves needing help,” she says. “My husband works, but his income just can’t quite do it. We were faced with … Do we go to the doctor? … Do we eat? So, we weren’t eating.
“Someone suggested we come to the food bank, but it was really hard to come here. I felt like if I have an education, I shouldn’t be coming here. I felt like if I have a car, I shouldn’t be coming here. But we need the car to get Mikey to his therapies.”
Julie eventually started visiting North Helpline, one of our partner food banks, and she’s so glad she did. She discovered her family is not alone, that medical bills are a common reason families come for help. And she was pleased to find fresh, nutritious foods for Mikey.
“It’s really, really helpful,” she says. “For him to have fruits and vegetables is huge.”