"An Answered Prayer"
Bad news is something Ashley Barrios of Jerseyville has grown accustomed to over the past three years.
Her mother, grandmothers, three uncles, and a cousin died. Her husband left her. She lost her job.
Her cash assistance was recently slashed from $519 to $256 and, living with her four growing children, ages 7 to 13, it was a devastating cut.
To make ends meet, she’s pawned off some of her belongings, including her mother’s ring.
And yet, through everything, Ashley, 33, still does her best to maintain a positive attitude for her four children. “There are a lot of prayers.” she said.
So when Ashley learned the Madison County Mobile Food Pantry would be coming to Fieldon at the end of February, it was an answered prayer.
“These people have been such a miraculous blessing. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably go hungry so my kids would have what little we do have,” said Ashley.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to be, but I have to do what I have to do for my children,” she added.
The Mobile Food Pantry run to Fieldon wasn’t just an answered prayer for Ashley Barrios and her kids. The truck brought enough food to feed 121 individuals from 29 families.
Peggy Titus of Golden Eagle was also in Fieldon picking up food. Peggy and her husband receive assistance from SNAP, and she says the amount they receive was recently cut. “When they cut that, it took food out of our mouths,” she said.
Additionally, she and her husband were recently given custody of their granddaughter, which made making ends meet even more difficult.
“We appreciate everything we get. My car is almost empty. Instead of money I would have spent on groceries, I can put gas in it,” said Peggy. “I think these people are just wonderful. They are wonderful to everyone, not just one person,” she added.