When There’s Not Enough Food

Samar and family
by SalvationArmy.ca

Since immigrating to Canada, life has been an uphill battle for Samar, a single parent. She says securing enough food and affordable housing are big issues facing her family of four.

“I don’t sleep at night,” says Samar. “I worry about feeding my children. They ask for milk and cereal and I can’t afford to give it to them.”

In 1991 Samar came to Canada from Lebanon to marry a fiancé chosen by her family. “My future was unknown, I had to learn English and about the culture,” says Samar. ” It was a big step.”

Over the next few years Samar’s relationship with her husband became increasingly unstable. Then, when his threats and verbal abuse escalated to violence, she left the marriage. “My girls were five and six years old,” says Samar. “I was by myself in a new country, not working and had no one to turn to.”

A friend told Samar about The Salvation Army. Here she received Christmas assistance, emotional and practical support. “They helped me a lot,” says Samar.

Samar eventually remarried and had three more children. Life was good until her husband was deported because he wasn’t a permanent resident of Canada.

 If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army I would have been literally on the streets.

“When my husband was deported I moved to Windsor, Ont., to find more affordable housing,” says Samar. “Meanwhile, I lived with my cousin. But when her children contracted a virus I had to leave.  If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army I would have been literally on the streets. They provided me shelter and food.”

Samar eventually secured housing, but the cost of rent and utilities meant there was little left for food.

“It was a bad situation and hard for me to deny my kids basic food,” says Samar. “Now, with help from The Salvation Army, we have food and hope.

“My kids are happy and that makes me happy,” says Samar. “Meanwhile, my husband is applying for Canadian citizenship and my story will get better. I just have to be patient.”