Tammy’s family has been part of the Dimock family for many years. All of Tammy’s three school-age children, who are 11, 8, and 3, have thrived in early education programs at Dimock. Her youngest is currently in Dimock’s Early Head Start program. Like many families, when schools shut in March, the children’s access to healthy breakfasts and lunches ended, too. The Dimock Center’s early education programs (Early Head Start, Head Start and Foundations for Learning) serve more than 350 low-income young children and their families each day, with Head Start families’ incomes well below the federal poverty level ($25,100 for a family of four).
As a single mother, Tammy has had to cope with the enormous stresses of having to figure out how to feed her family, while also protecting her children from the coronavirus. All three of her children have respiratory issues, making them more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19.
“Working full-time, having three kids with respiratory problems, and seeing how COVID-19 has directly impacted people’s lives, especially our elderly community, has been really overwhelming for me and for my family. I worry every day about the continued health of my family and the health of our community.”
When Tammy learned from her Head Start Family Service Worker about Dimock’s emergency meals program, she was relieved and very happy to participate. While the healthy, nutritious food they received helped the family financially, Tammy also found the interactions with staff to be a great source of emotional support during this time of social distancing and isolation.
“Every time I visit the meal distribution program, the staff are always warm and welcoming. Knowing that my children are able to receive these essential meals at home has really taken a huge burden off of me. There are times when I couldn’t make it and Dimock’s staff went out of their way to bring the meals to me. It’s been nothing but love when I come there, and it’s always been like that at Dimock.”
“I now feel as though Dimock is like a second family to me. They have really helped me get through this tough time, and I no longer feel uncomfortable asking for help if I ever need anything. It has given me hope that I can depend on Dimock and my community for support when I need it most.”