2014 Offering of Letters: 'I Feel Happier Now"
Every day, Catarina Pascual Jiménez—a single mother of four who lives in the Cuchumatanes mountains of Guatemala—asks God "for strength to feed my children and to keep them healthy." She felt her prayers were answered when she learned of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) food-aid program available to women with children under 2.
Catarina enrolled in the new Program of Integrated Actions on Food Security and Nutrition in the Western Highlands (Paisano) and now receives a monthly ration of rice, beans, fortified corn-soy flour, and oil. Because she receives these staples, Catarina can use some of the income she earns washing bundles of laundry to buy fruits, vegetables, sugar, salt, oatmeal, and other items to supplement her family's diet—an option she didn't have before. Most importantly, she can now give her children three meals a day, definitely a nutritional boost for her two youngest, twins Alexander and Sheili, who exhibited the negative effects of early malnutrition.
"Before we entered the program, sometimes I didn't sleep — I'd lay awake all night, and I'd ask myself how I was going to make it," Catarina says. "My children are my happiness, the reason I live and fight and meet the challenges of life. Now that I am a beneficiary of the program, I don't feel as much worry about food anymore."
Learn more about Catarina by watching the video above and exploring Bread for the World's 2014 Offering of Letters, "Reforming U.S. Food Aid." Together we can change policy and ensure continued, improved assistance to millions of people in need, like Catarina and her children, around the world.
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