Listen to Francisca's story. Audio Producer: Sarah P. Reynolds

Francisca Sanchez, age 42, was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico before moving to California. Her husband, a field laborer, works in a faraway town. He rarely comes home and does not send much money. Francisca used to rely on WIC to buy milk and food for her children, but now that they’ve grown past the age-limit of five, she finds other ways to scrape by, like collecting and recycling cans to buy necessities like soap. Her volunteer work at her children’s school has won her several awards, which she hangs proudly on her wall. She says her main focus is to provide a better future to her children.

  • Francisca Sanchez at her home.

  • Francisca's children Lupita and Nacho translate for their mother, who doesn't speak English.

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"Moving in and out of jobs that demand much and pay little, many people tread just above the poverty line, dangerously close to the edge of destitution. "

- The Working Poor: Invisible in America, by David Shipler

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