The daily struggle of three local moms to keep their kids from going hungry, and how you can help

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - What would you give up today to make sure your children could eat tomorrow? Many single mothers in Kansas City's metropolitan area wrestle with that question every month. A handful of them are helped by Operation Breakthrough.

"Today's Thursday, and I had to take $30 I needed to do some laundry with to buy food because I don't get my food stamps until Friday," explained Kissey White, a mother of six.

Food pantries like the one at Operation Breakthrough help people in White's situation, but slim donations in the summer months have left its shelves nearly barren. Operation Breakthrough receives food from the Harvesters food bank.

"People are more giving mood around Christmas time. But you know? My kids eat all year around," said Felicita San Miguel, who has three children.

Kelli Hamilton has a 13-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter.

"A week and a half before food stamps come, I usually run out of food," she explained.

Hamilton stocks up on items like noodles and canned vegetables at the pantry. Everything else has to be prioritized.

"A gallon of milk is about the same as a gallon of gas," said Hamilton. She said high prices and little money to work with leaves her with some tough decisions.

"Do I have enough gas to get to the daycare to make sure my kids go to school? Or do I buy a gallon of milk so they can have a bowl of cereal before they get to school," questioned Hamilton.

Because meats, dairy products and produce aren't typically donated, that cost lands on the parent.

"Perishable food is very difficult. You go around this neighborhood, and there aren't a lot of stores where, even if you had some money, you could buy perishable foods," said Sister Berta Sailor, co-founder of Operation Breakthrough.

On the worst days, some mothers avoid eating so their children don't have to go without.

"At the end of the day, as long as they've ate, I think I'll make it through," said White.

These three women and their children are among thousands KSHB viewers have helped this week by simply giving to Fill the Fridge.

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