What It Was Like Growing Up With Food Insecurity

TIME

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Growing up, food always felt just out of my reach. As an only child, I didn’t have to worry about older brothers or sisters stealing my snacks, and as a person living in an affluent area, I had multiple supermarkets and convenience stores within walking distance of my home. From a young age, I watched my grandmother in the kitchen, and I had the basic notions of how to prepare food: how to boil water, what to do if you burned yourself, how to clean dishes after your meal. The biggest food obstacle I faced growing up — and one which 15.8 million children in America also face — was tied to poverty.

Much of my childhood and adolescence was spent shifting between the care of my mother, who as a single parent also battled mental illness and drug addiction, and my grandmother, who lived on a limited income. Food…

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