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The financial toll of the pandemic forced Erika Melgar, a 28 year old single mother, to leave South Florida.
“My daughter misses my family,” she said.
The decision to relocate came after months of no work, and a battle with food insecurity. Melgar was working at Miami International Airport, in a restaurant, before the pandemic. She was laid off because of the changes that came to the travel industry.
The finical hit forced her to go to food distributions to keep her 3-year-old daughter fed.
“It makes you question yourself, if you’ve done something wrong,” she said.
Taking the help with food didn’t change the inevitable, she couldn’t keep up with her bills.
Melgar got a job opportunity in Fort Pierce at a Daycare, and she made the difficult decision to leave South Florida behind.
She says moving was hard, but taking help with food was harder. While she was struggling to provide for herself and her daughter she confronted low self esteem.
“There’s a lot of us going through the same things,” she said.
This experience taught her that she was not alone in the struggle. She also learned about kindness. Those helping hands that kept her and her daughter fed meant the world to her.