What’s more, with nine kids, Wahlberg’s parents had a difficult time putting food on the table. Although the pair worked as servers and bar staff, they relied on food stamps to top up their earnings. Meanwhile, leftover cereal and milk that Wahlberg’s dad, Donald, gleaned from his second job as a delivery driver filled the gaps that welfare couldn’t.
Through it all, though, Wahlberg and his siblings developed an appreciation for the smaller things in life. Family dinners – which usually consisted of his father’s homemade burgers – were, in particular, a treasured part of the star’s childhood. “[It was] the one time of day that we knew we’d all be together,” the singer told Entrepreneur magazine in 2015.
Flash forward to today, though, and Wahlberg’s life has changed remarkably. After joining pop group New Kids on the Block in 1984, the Boston native was taken out of his Dorchester surroundings and thrust onto the global stage. And in the process, he went from hand-me-downs and home-cooked meals to experiencing the luxuries that only a lucky handful enjoy.