A year ago, Miledi Berdu and her husband, Robert Rodriguez, began skipping meals to keep their children fed as Venezuela's economic crisis continued. Rodriguez's salary as a welder in Caracas wasn't enough to cover soaring prices, and shortages made food expensive.
One day, she would skip lunch, then the next day, he'd go without dinner. The goal was to keep their 10-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son from going hungry. Berdu, already slim, dropped 11 pounds.
"The kids always had food. We couldn't tell them there wasn't food, so we tried to make sure they didn't realize," she said. "How would you explain to your baby that there's no bottle or to your child that it's all we have to eat?"
Cases like these are becoming too common to Sr. Teresa Gomez and Sr. Yexci Moreno of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres.