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
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular