As an adult, have you ever been so poor you were challenged to feed yourself or your family?


Have you ever been so poor that you had trouble feeding yourself or your family? We’re talking about in your adult life.

Heaven knows, many of us have had setbacks in our lives, some financial, that made life difficult, and even buying food became a huge challenge.

Feel free to leave a comment if you wish. And remember, it may take a few moments for the poll to load, so stand by.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

8 hours ago

Active Duty Army, E5, wife and newborn. Many nights eating “Helper”….without the hamburger. WIC helped a lot, but we were just above the cutoff income for food stamps. Like $5 above….

Dave J
1 day ago

Yes. Two stripe Airman. Stationed on a remote site a long ways from a regular airbase. With wife and baby. Skipped many meals so wife could eat and make milk for nursing daughter.

1 day ago

Split with the ex – he left the state. Two kids, no job, hadn’t worked in 13 years. It was a rough couple of months until I found a job and a place for us to live. Thankfully I had good friends who let us crash on their apartment floor and others who would slip me a little food money from time to time.

Marsha Ross
1 day ago

In 1965 I had one semester of college until graduation. I attended during evenings. I worked 8 hours each day for 6 days each week. My pay was $30 per week. The studio I rented cost $12 each week. I had to put gas in the car to get to work. I ate dry cereal, tuna from a can, hot dogs and beans. I did that for 5 months until I got a teaching job that paid $4500 a year.

Vanessa Simmons
1 day ago

Not as an adult but I remember eating field peas and cornbread w/sawmill gravy for several days in a row so my parents could make the $39/mo house payment. I also love onion sandwiches (with mustard) and potato chip sandwiches!

John Koenig
1 day ago

Fortunately no, I never found myself in such a situation. In my college days, I had several friends who had left their parents’ homes DID face hard times on their own. When I finally went out on my own, I “stocked up” on a variety of staples that had long shelf lives (canned soups, crackers etc) just so I would NOT go hungry if my situation deteriorated (which fortunately never happened). A decade+ later, those “emergency items” were still in the back of my cupboard! They got tossed out but, to this day, I still keep a few basic food staples in stock. Better safe then sorry (or hungry).

1 day ago

Late 60’s as a young Marine with a family found it difficult to have enough for me after ensuring wife and baby were taken care of. Fortunately that period was short lived and from then on managed well with the help of part time jobs to assist…BTW, that lasted for the next 10 years…. life is good though…

1 day ago

worked as many as 3-jobs and went to school full time. ya do what ya gotta do.

1 day ago

Growing up poor and always had an attitude of being proud of it. Everyone around me (close circle of friends I grew up with) were all the same. After High School, we went set out and picked up jobs in the summer picking fruit in Eastern Washington. MANY hungry days and stories to tell. Found out that if I became a Fry Cook, I could get a job in any town. As a young man that meant a job, immediate food and usually a girl friend (one of the waitresses). Sometimes the town would even have cheap apartments we could rent. Then, I forced myself to go into the Army to grow up. Still proud of those days and my humble but proud roots. Many, many stories from those times….

Mitzi Agnew Giles
1 day ago

When my libertarian/randite/sociopathic/cheating ex left in 1978 I had a kindergartner and a 5month old infant. I was breastfeeding my son, and had no job skills(ex claimed if I put him thru school then he would put me thru school. He lied) I applied for Food stamps. Before Entitlement, the states got block grants. If there was nothing left in the State treasury, too bad. The Human Services guidelines said we would need $110 monthly for food, and they didn’t have it. They could only give me $33 a month. I learnt to cook dry beans and used the Cornell Triple Rich Flour formula from Joy of Cooking. Before measuring flour, put soy flour, wheat germ, and dry milk-1 tbsp each-in measuring cup. Then fill w/flour. Saturday was baking day. Pizza crust for that night, 2 loaves of bread for week, and noodles made with a rolling pin and butter knife. I saved left overs for free soup. During this time I was able to buy fresh fruit and vegies as well as canned, rarely cheese or ground beef. Someday

Deborah Mason
1 day ago

In the late 1970s I quit a well paying job that was killing me & went back to school. At one point, working only 3 days a week, minimum wage, on work nights, I was buying a potato for 20 cents, using the store microwave to cook it. About once a month I’d buy a stick of margarine for my spuds. That allowed me to afford a few more meals a week.

Old Ron
1 day ago

Just married in !966, joined USAF ahead of draft and used all savings to exist on tuna noodle casserole and Mac and cheese until promoted enough to eat. Wasn’t all bad as was MUCH thinner back then

Michael Lloyd
1 day ago

I’ve spent two stretches in my adult life being unemployed or under-employed for extended periods of time, late 1987 – late 1988 and 2000 – 2007. During those times I had to shift my food shopping criteria to how much food costs per pound. The most effective item I could get were large, government-issue sized cans of fruit cocktail. For months at a time, fruit cocktail was all I had to eat as it cost about 18 cents per pound back in the day. That was many years ago, and I cannot eat canned fruit cocktail any more without gagging from the sweet syrup and peaches. I can’t even eat whole peaches any more as I remember they syrupy slippery texture, and felt like that were tasting me back…..

Wayne Caldwell
1 day ago

The summer of 1980, I had left the Air Force and was working in San Antonio, Texas. I had to ask for food stamps – the most degrading request I have ever had to do. After struggling for 6 months, I went to the recruiter and re-enlisted – not for God, Country, Mother, or Apple Pie, but because I had to feed and take care of my family. Even at those low military pay rates at the time, my income doubled.

1 day ago
Reply to  Wayne Caldwell

I was in the Army (San Antonio for training and Ft. Hood for permanent) from ’78 to ’81. Doggone that pay was low! I had a young family (first son was born there during that time). Gave Plasma to get a few bucks to make it through until payday, but that seemed like a small price to pay to bridge the gap. I didn’t join for any higher God and Country motivation either. I just knew I needed to grow the heck up. Yet still, I’m proud of my service.

Glenda Alexander
1 day ago

My husband was still working on his chemical engineering degree at Texas Tech. I had graduated and was working on campus. I remember one time when we were down to $5 at the end of the month. I was embarrassed to have to put back a large potato so I could pay for groceries that week. There were a few other rough weeks.

tim palmer
1 day ago

When I quit my job and started my business there were some lean times trying to get customers. My meals consisted of peanut butter on toast. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Robin Deane
1 day ago

As a college student I ate frozen pot pies (10 for a dollar–yes it was a long time ago) for a whole month. It took me 25 years to be able to eat one again. Then as a young mother I worried that there wouldn’t be anything for Thanksgiving dinner. A local charity brought us a full Thanksgiving dinner, and it was the most grateful moment of my life. Since then my fortunes have changed dramatically, but I still remember how it felt and feel thankful for what I have today. My favorite charity is the local food bank.

Gary Swope
1 day ago

I remember in my early 20s, I ate onion sandwiches a few times.

Roy Ellithorpe
1 day ago
Reply to  Gary Swope

I love sandwiches, but onion sandwiches are at the top of my list.

1 day ago

These surveys never show up anymore for me, so I am never able to participate. In my college days I would sometimes eat only once or twice a day, and that was PB&J and cereal. Sometimes to get some meat and a vegetable I would go to Wendy’s and get a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger off the dollar menu…that gave me lettuce and onions😂

1 day ago
Reply to  Troy

Have you tried opening the survey and letting it load for 10-15 minutes? That’s what works for me. (Oh, and I’m a fan of Wendy’s Jr Bacon Cheeseburger! I hope you can still eat them.)

Bob P
1 day ago

In 1971 I started my apprenticeship with GM at their locomotive plant on the south side of Chicago. I took a 50 cents/ hr cut in pay ($4.50 down to $4), had to drive twice as far to work and my GI benefits wasn’t in force for a year and a half. There was many weeks that we ate very cheaply.