Jeremiah Program: Baltimore Center


Helping Kids by Helping Single Moms

Can you imagine how far kids could go if their moms weren’t worried about affording groceries or paying the rent?

Take the story of Lillian Singh. She was raised in Los Angeles by a single mom who worked two and a half jobs to raise her. Food assistance programs helped her mom ensure they didn’t experience hunger, but the real break came when her mom entered a workforce development program.

With this training she was able to more than double her income and have some financial stability for her family. 

“I don’t think that if my mother’s financial condition wasn’t improved, that I would actually have the life outcome that I have today,” shared Singh. “My life shouldn’t be an exception.”

Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign is proud to announce a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing the root causes of childhood hunger in the United States. Recognizing that it takes more than food to end hunger, we’re investing $6.7 million across 28 organizations in 12 states to help families – particularly single moms with lower incomes – and children achieve financial security. 

“Strong, stable, and secure mothers help raise strong, stable, and secure kids,” said Singh, who now leads this work as senior vice president of family economic mobility at No Kid Hungry. “By supporting single mothers, we aim to break the cycle of poverty and hunger that affects too many families across the country. We’re eager to fuel the incredible work of our community partners, and stand ready to convene a national conversation to champion a better future for single mothers raising children.”

One of the local organizations we are funding is the Jeremiah Program, a national organization focused on economic mobility of single moms and their kids. All moms who enter the program decide within six months that they are ready to enroll in either a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. 

It’s not easy for single moms. Despite being consistently employed, they and their children face extraordinary levels of food and financial insecurity due to barriers and limited access to employment, high cost of basic needs and social stigmatization against single moms. Moms are able to overcome incredible obstacles just to make it. 

Shameeka, Mary Claire, Erika, Rodnique and Portia are women from all around the country who are either currently enrolled or are alumni of the Jeremiah Program. They exude confidence and pride for their achievements (college degrees, home ownership, supporting others in the community), but more than anything they exude love for everything that this will mean for their kids. 

Rodnique recalls crying a lot as she went through school while raising her two girls. Mary Claire shared she felt that her kids were also going to school with her feeling all the stress of the classwork and their financial situation. Shameeka had to live in a shelter for some time while raising the kids. And Erika talked about feeling overwhelmed with work and being unable to console her kid who suffered a skin condition. 

Like many single moms, they faced moments where they thought they could not make it. Jeremiah Program offered them a community and coaching that helped them through these challenges.

“I feel very proud of myself, although sometimes I don’t believe it,” shared Erika. “Looking at everything I’ve done with my life and everything I’ve done for my children… I’ve come from a very dark place. I see myself transformed in a positive way because I am not only a mother and a woman but also a leader in my community.”

With your support, No Kid Hungry’s work with the Jeremiah Program and other organizations as part of this initiative focuses on three high-impact areas: removing barriers to increased incomes and wages for single mothers, reducing the cost burden of food, and shifting the narrative around single mothers experiencing poverty.

Mom’s Conference

In early March, 300 moms got together for the Jeremiah Program conference. The event was a representation of everything that the Jeremiah Program does in communities across the nation. There were workshops about navigating bureaucratic assistance programs, child care for moms with small babies, coaching opportunities for moms pitching business ideas and most importantly, moms were on the table making decisions about their future.

“Single moms are probably one of the most untapped resources that we have,” said Danielle Staton, executive director of Jeremiah Program Baltimore. “A single mom is a master multitasker, a single mom is someone who’s going to get things done… single moms really are like an untapped treasure.”

Of the almost 8.5 million households with single moms in the US, 61% are considered low income and 33% experienced hunger. That’s millions of kids whose moms just need some support, a community and somebody to believe in them in order to thrive. 

“When you change a woman’s life, you change her kid’s life… You change every generation to come,” explained Rodnique. 

By 2030, our goal is to impact 3 million moms. You can be part of this groundbreaking initiative and end hunger not only for this generation of kids but for all the generations to come after them. 

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