Minnetonka is a city where the median household income is more than $80,000. It’s hard to believe that in such an affluent community, Steve and his neighbors live in a working class island. At their best, the former shipping and receiving associate and his wife both worked two jobs—a combined income of $50,000—to support their two daughters. But that was five years ago.
The couple now relies on unemployment benefits to feed 15-year-old Katie and 10-year-old Olivia. “We tried to make sure the kids don't really feel it,” says Steve of the extent he and Treva have gone to protect their daughters from any sort of stigma associated with their lack of income. “It's hard to have the kids not have a normal life and do just everyday things, knowing that the $20 you hand them is the last $20 you may have for a few weeks.”
Life has been a pendulum of promises and disappointments for the couple since they both lost their jobs. They continually file applications for work, dress and prepare themselves for interviews, and debate whether or not taking $7 to $8 an hour jobs is wise considering Treva’s and Katie’s medical needs from asthma complications. The 48-year-old Steve believes their age has been a hindrance in their search and hopes they can start new careers to take care of themselves.
Until such a time comes, they turn to their local food shelf, the ICA Center at St. David, for assistance. The agency of the Second Harvest Heartland food bank provides them with the food the parents need to keep their family fed.
Learn more about Second Harvest Heartland.