Tammy Battersby, Day 5

What a challenge and how many times I have failed simply because, unlike those living in these situations full time, I have availability of food. I am grateful for the heightened compassion for the plight of others, for the conversation that this challenge has inspired and for the comments of those who come to the Blessings Pantry to shop.

As mentioned in the links I am irritable dizzy, wanting to isolate but feeling left out. My work duties are suffering and this is no fun. Conclusion = We as a society are punishing the less fortunate for having the courage to ask for help.

Years ago I was on my own with two children and an income lower than assistance provides but I did not access services available because I lacked the understanding of what was available. As a result I have an understanding of poverty and have become very resourceful. This challenge has offered me an understanding of what it is to be receiving assistance, the cost of public scrutiny, continual messages of undeservedness and a disconnection from society at large.

In this week’s conversations I have learned that many people assume those receiving assistance are well cared for by the money they receive and cannot understand why the recipients are always on the take. It has been really beneficial to dispel these misunderstandings and reshape not only my thinking but the thoughts of others. I have never worked so hard for so little as this week. Shopping for the days food with $3 in my pocket and a shelf full of what is not available to me is incredibly discouraging.

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