But that's precisely the situation the clients Ethier serves at the local organization often face.
Fortunately Our Children, Our Future provides a safety net to keep kids' bellies full.
Besides offering daycare services and parenting classes throughout the region, the organization provides nutrition and food programs that give parents a leg up.
When these programs were started more than a decade ago, they received funding from the City of Greater Sudbury.
But the funding was gradually cut back until it disappeared entirely about two years ago. These food programs now rely entirely on fundraising.
Our Children, Our Future's major fundraiser — a calendar featuring its clients — raised about $30,000 last year. But it is no longer enough to cover all of the organization's costs.
“It's important to always try to do our best and give our best,” Ethier said. “To maintain that, we have to do extra fundraising.”
That's why she's been hard at work, organizing a benefit concert she hopes will bring in at least $15,000.
“That will get us until at least April,” Ethier said.
The Sept. 13 concert, entitled “Imagine,” features The Caverners Beatles tribute group and local band Chicks with Picks, as well as a silent auction.
“It's going to be an awesome concert,” Ethier said. “The Caverners had just celebrated 20 years together as the Caverners Band. They really know their stuff. They're bang on with everything.
“Throughout the show, they go through the different eras of the Beatles. It's not just some guys playing guitar, it's actually a performance.”
One of the food programs the concert will support is the Infant Food Cupboard, an emergency service where parents of children under the age of 30 months are provided with infant formula, milk and diapers.
The program provided support for 505 children in 2012.
To reduce transportation barriers, Our Children, Our Future has arranged for parents to be able to pick up what they need from nearby pharmacies. When appropriate, they also receive milk vouchers.
Because families are only allowed to access the program two months in a row before they have to take a one-month break, the agency also has a stock of donated items on hand at their Minnow Lake Place location.
“We tell them that if you find that third month you're really, really struggling, to phone us here and we'll see what we can do,” said Cherise Sherbak, parent resource worker at the organization.
If anyone is interested in donating either money or items such as diapers or formula to the Infant Food Cupboard program, the support would be welcomed, Ethier said.
The concert is also supporting the Food Security Program, which encompasses the food served at all of the agency's programs and Good Food Bags containing fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and eggs for those attending parenting classes.
Last year, Our Children, Our Future offered a total of 1,206 programs which included a meal or snack, and provided 1,228 Good Food Bags.
Tickets to the benefit concert, which starts at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Steelworkers Hall, cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
To purchase tickets, contact Ethier at 705-677-0440, ext. 223 or [email protected]. For more information about the concert, search for “OCOF Events” on Facebook.