In America, poverty can look like anyone.

4 days until the next grocery day and all the rice we had for the month has already been cooked. There is a single serving in a refrigerator shared by four adults. We finished the ramen last month. We need sunblock. We ask the doctor to bill us for check-ups. We eat cheez-its for lunch. We drank water and ate popsicles when we wanted juice, but now we’re down to water.

There’s no milk so we put extra butter in the oatmeal. There’s no family dinner so that we don’t have to talk about what we don’t have and why we’re hungry. We don’t have to listen to each other’s stomachs cry or sit around drinking tea and pretending everything is okay. We consider eating candy we’re allergic to that someone gave to our house.

Poverty is not always wet socks in the winter, ill-fitting clothes, and government housing. Sometimes, it’s a dirty car, unkempt lawn, single servings of food, or watching TV through the meal hour.

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