Gloria, a fifty-year-old mother and grandmother, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She grew up in South Nashville, where she watched her mother “make a way out of no way.” Gloria, her baby sister, and her older brother grew up together with trials and tribulations, but they were always surrounded by love. Gloria and her siblings were pushed to be the best people they could be, and she grew up with strong maternal relationships with her mother, auntie, and granny. Her mother constantly reminded her that others were in worse shape than her, and this taught her to be a humble and mindful person.
As a child, Gloria helped her mother with a local youth after-school program. She was also a caregiver for her brother, who is blind. Whenever he struggled with his health, Gloria was his voice and advocated for whatever he needed. She continued this caregiving when she worked in a day center home for people who were disabled. Year after year of providing for and caring for others took a toll on Gloria’s physical health, but she continues to care for others, including her grandson, Isaiah.
When Gloria called the Tennessee Justice Center, she needed assistance applying for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) for Isaiah. She had no idea that she herself could be eligible for SNAP. A car wreck left Gloria unable to work, and as a result she is unable to work labor-intensive jobs. Because of this, she struggles to keep herself afloat with her limited sources of income, and she is burdened by her daily and monthly expenses. TJC helped Gloria realize that she could be eligible for SNAP, which helped ease this burden.
Programs like SNAP help caretakers like Gloria to fully take care of their loved ones. No family should have to choose between providing shelter or food for their loved ones, and SNAP helps struggling families put food on the table. Gloria states that it takes “all hands-on deck to raise our children and future,” and SNAP helps Gloria and other caregivers in this process.
SNAP has helped Gloria “make a way out of no way” for Isaiah, just as her mom did for her and her siblings. Through stories like Gloria’s, we can recognize how tenacious women, like her, continue to make a difference for others day in and out. TJC is proud to recognize Gloria as a 2019 Mother of the Year.