Our Stories: Lisa Cubeiro

I’m college educated, and had a really good job making $65k a year. I worked seven days a week, and was the primary breadwinner for the first seven years of my marriage. We planned to have children.

One day, on the job, I slipped on gravel over a metal plate in the street, which broke my ankle. I had an insurance policy but they dropped me for being a high health risk. Meanwhile, the owner of the company where I worked retired, and sold the business. The new owners made me into a seasonal, independent contractor, and cut my salary.

Being out of work with a broken leg ate up our savings, but my husband and I decided to have kids. He had been promoted, and was making almost as much as I was before my accident. I opened an at-home photography business, and went digital but I could only work during school hours because my kids were in kindergarten.

In 2012, after years of marriage I was in a difficult situation, divorce was the only option for me and my sons.  Despite being college educated and having a long-term job prior to their birth we struggled through the divorce. For three years I was on my own covering all the expenses for our family until the court garnished child support.  Thanks to local community groups I managed to stave off foreclosure, but I needed help putting food on the table.

I worked, so I wasn’t qualified to get any money from social services.  All I had were food stamps, and at first, I got only $57 per month and then eventually nearly $200.  I could have received additional aid if I had participated in their job training program, but I would have had to quit my job to do that and had less money to support my family.  

None of us believe we would ever need help, but anything could happen.  That’s why it is important to make it easier, not harder, for families to put food on the table.  Let’s make society better. I want everybody to be able to eat.

Lisa Cubeiro

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