Dinner should be a relaxing time for families; a chance to talk and connect while enjoying a good meal together at the end of the day.

But for all too many refugees, it’s only a source of stress. It’s challenging to afford groceries when you aren’t allowed to work, and many find it demoralizing to accept food from friends or neighbors.

CRP distributes food vouchers about five times a month at our centers in Amman to prevent hunger and malnutrition among our community members. These vouchers also allow families to regain a sense of normalcy, as they can shop for groceries on their own and pick the items that best fit their individual needs.

At a recent food distribution, Adnan, a refugee from Yemen, and Fareed, a refugee from Syria, shared their experiences.

Adnan

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you learned about CRP?

I heard about the organization from friends of mine who are registered to receive food vouchers. After they told me about it, I came to visit about a month ago. Yesterday night I got a message saying that I could receive a food voucher and I needed to come today and get it.

Is it challenging to afford food and other living necessities as a refugee in Jordan?

We can barely find any work because you are required to have a work permit by the Jordanian government, which we can’t get. If we work without a permit, then we’re afraid we might be deported. Because of the war in my country, I can’t go back there.

So yes, we face problems with finances because we don’t have the ability to work.

Does struggling to afford food and other necessities cause anxiety?

When you don’t have a source of income, it can cause some serious mental health problems. You can start to hate yourself and the world. These are sometimes reasons a person might give up on living.

How do you think these food vouchers will change your life?

Now that I got the message yesterday to get the voucher, I plan to bring some food to my house tonight and maybe we will be able to get by for the month.

Fareed

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you learned about CRP?

I got to know about CRP through a friend who told me about it in 2014. I’ve participated with a lot of the programs, like Yoga, Gender-Based Violence classes, Keystone, and Diwaniyeh.

Is it challenging to afford food and other living necessities as a refugee in Jordan?

Yes. It’s very expensive here. You need someone to help you buy the necessary foods for your home. My family and I faced many challenges when we came to Jordan, but after we joined CRP it made things a lot easier. They provided us with help and guidance.

Does struggling to afford food and other necessities cause anxiety?

It used to stress me out so much. Life in Jordan is really expensive, but receiving these food vouchers has really helped to relieve my stress.

How have these food vouchers changed your life?

Being able to provide nutritious food for my family is very important to me. I have four kids and these vouchers help me buy healthy foods that are crucial for their growth. My mother, who’s 85, also receives help from these vouchers because she’s elderly. These vouchers really make me happy. I’m very thankful to CRP for all its programs.