She once judged people who were on SNAP. Now it's helping keep her and her family healthy.

For Kristyn Fayewicz, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was an unexpected lifeline.

Three years ago, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a serious disease that causes her body's immune system to attack itself.

After she was diagnosed, work became difficult and then untenable. Fayewicz, who worked at a dog training facility, found that the physical nature of the job made the symptoms worse. At one point, she even lost sight in one eye.


It took Fayewicz a year after her diagnosis to apply for SNAP benefits. She knew that she and her family needed help, but she was ashamed of taking this step. And she worried about the way people would look at her in the store.

Kristyn Fayewicz. All photos via Upworthy.

“I was too stubborn and proud. I had the same misconceptions that many have about getting assistance,” she says.

Like many, she believed that SNAP participants were somehow abusing the system put in place to help struggling Americans. But that’s a misconception. Nearly half of all SNAP participants, in fact, are children. And the average SNAP participant receives less than $5 per day in benefits.

Today SNAP helps Fayewicz live a better, healthier life.

SNAP provides her with the ability to choose good, healthy food for herself, her boyfriend (who's the family's sole source of income now) and their nine-month-old baby, Murphy. Eating well has helped Fayewicz better manage her MS symptoms, and set her daughter up for a strong start in life.

Murphy and Kristyn shopping at the grocery store.

“You are what you eat, and I want to be a strong example for my daughter,” Fayewicz says. Murphy has already discovered an affinity for fruits and vegetables, especially bananas and tomatoes. Thanks to SNAP, Fayewicz can buy these items every week.

“SNAP has changed my life,” Fayewicz says. “I can't imagine where I'd be without it.”

Fayewicz's EBT Card.

Everyone has a story. No one should be ashamed of asking for help.

Millions of Americans like Fayewicz struggle with putting meals on the table. But no one should be denied access to healthy food. SNAP is helping to change that one family at a time.

To learn more about this family’s story check out the video below:

More
True
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Sony Pictures Entertainment/YouTube


A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com

As a child, I spent countless hours with Mister Rogers. I sang along as he put on his cardigan and sneakers, watched him feed his fish, and followed his trolley into the Land of Make Believe. His show was a like a calm respite from the craziness of the world, a beautiful place where kindness always ruled. Even now, thinking about the gentle, genuine way he spoke to me as a child is enough to wash away the angst of my adult heart.

Fred Rogers was goodness personified. He dedicated his life not just to the education of children, but to their emotional well-being. His show didn't teach us letters and figures—he taught about love and feelings. He showed us what community looks like, what accepting and including different people looks like, and what kindness and compassion look like. He saw everyone he met as a new friend, and when he looked into the camera and said, "Hello, neighbor," he was sincerely speaking to every person watching.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via ManWhoHasItAll

Recently, Upworthy shared a tweet thread by author A.R. Moxon who created a brilliant metaphor to help men understand the constant anxiety that potential sexual abuse causes women.

He did so by equating sexual assault to something that men have a deep-seeded fear of: being kicked in the testicles.


An anonymous man in England who goes by the Twitter handle @manwhohasitall has found a brillintly simple way of illustrating how we condescend to women by speaking to men the same way.

Keep Reading Show less
"Why is Dad So Mad"

Army veteran Seth Kastle had everything going for him when he came home from serving 16 years overseas. That's why it was so confusing to him when his life began to fall apart.

He had a job, a loving wife, family, and friends. He knew things would be different when he moved back to Kansas, but he didn't think they'd be that different. But he felt an extreme anger building up inside, a fire inside his chest that he couldn't explain or get rid of.

Kastle was unknowingly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event — like war.

Keep Reading Show less
Family
True
Verizon

If you're a Game of Thrones fan, then Gwendoline Christie aka Brienne of Tarth needs no introduction. While there was disappointment surrounding the finale, and the last season in general, Christie's character was one of the few to remain near and dear to the hearts of fans throughout it all.

Fans wept when they finally witnessed Ser Brienne of Tarth get knighted after six seasons of being one of the most honorable and integrity filled characters to grace the Game of Thrones screen.

Similarly, Brienne of Tarth's final tribute to Jaime Lannister left people both misty-eyed and eager to dedicate countless memes to the moment.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture