“I am a single mother, of a son who doesn’t even know a portion of his food comes from a food bank (or his clothes for the Sally Ann). I have only recently brought myself to be able to go a food bank, ashamed or something like shame. And then my worst fear: seeing someone I know there, the last time I was in. But then, shouldn’t there be comfort in that, in not being alone in this poverty? In recognizing faces there, and knowing I am not alone, and seeing there’s an employment issue in my town or province? The person I recognized went to MUN with me. I am university educated — no, not a useless arts degree, a business degree. I work, hard. I just can’t find a well-paying job in my field. Every time one is advertised, 1000 applicants apply, so I have a less than 1% chance to get it, or someone has the edge with their master’s degree (I can’t afford the time or money for more school, buried in student debt and raising a kid!). So I work in retail, for a man who makes me uncomfortable on the best of days. Every night when my son is sleeping, I check job ad apps, and curse myself to sleep, because there is no jobs in anything but retail, accounting, construction, and graphic design in this province! Of those 4 options, I have retail experience only. Minimum wage isn’t enough for rent and a child and food in this province. I wish politicians experienced life in my shoes, when they write policies and plans to make this a livable province. I wish wealthier people, or those with friends and family that can help them through hard times, lived through what i am living now, so they would quit judging. I had elderly parents, long dead now. I am terrified of the stigma of being poor and lazy falling off of me, unto my child. Have a heart, don’t judge people like me: we’re a reflection of the lack of jobs in our province as much as anything.” – Lucy