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Food Banks Now Serving the Next Layer of People

People everywhere are having economic epiphanies. Whether it's learning the importance of an emergency fund, wishing they hadn't taken their job for granted, recognizing some things can be blessings in disguise, or appreciating the little things, there's no doubt this recession is going to have a lasting effect on many Americans. For some, the moments of clarity are more sour than silver.

The New York Times reports that food banks in some of the most affluent places in the country are seeing floods of new people in need, in the form of unemployed bankers, tech professionals, and ex-Mad Men types. Brenda Beavers, human services director for the Salvation Army in New Jersey, pointed out how difficult this reality can be, saying, "These are people who never really had to ask for help before. They were once givers and now they’re having to ask for assistance."

With increased demand comes a need for a bigger food supply, so if you're in the position to give a little, why not help out your local food pantry?


Join The Conversation
T-S T-S 8 years
I have lived in the DC area, and while I tried to take public transit when possible, I still needed a car. My volunteer gig at NIH was a 20 minute car ride but an hour and a half via public transit. Beyond that, if I was really hard up and to the point where I was going to a food bank, I'd probably be thinking of my car as a backup place to live.
syako syako 8 years
I hope I didn't sound judgmental, because as I thought I made it clear, I was truly interested in the situation. And you all brought up good points. As I mentioned, in my city and surrounding nearby areas public transit is cheap, reliable, clean and nice. So a car to get places is by no means a necessity. That is why I was asking. I realize there are cities where you absolutely need a car, I used to live in one. But that is why it is strange to me here.
liliblu liliblu 8 years
Or they may be living in that car.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
I honestly don't think those people go to food banks so that they can still have their "things". Who knows what their situation is? Maybe they've been laid off for a year already, and have families? I would think it's weird if somebody wearing designer clothes or a designer purse goes to a food bank, or somebody rolls up in a BMW, but I doubt that happens. And yes, people do need cars if they are job hunting. They also need those cars to take their kids to school, etc. Maybe those cars have been paid off already. And for all you know, it could be their only "thing". All i'm saying is, don't judge.
stephley stephley 8 years
If you're still hoping to find a job, a car could be essential to getting to work - personally, I don't see why we'd want to see people stripped to having absolutely nothing before they get help. It's easier to help someone up after they've stumbled than to have to wipe them up off the sidewalk.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I feel a little bad for thinking this, but here it goes: This is what happens when you think the gravy train is going on forever. And Syako, I'm with you on that one. I think the problem is when you've "had it all", I think you can lose your sense of whats a need versus a want. Too many people think they NEED the stuff they WANT. CG, your last sentence is the stark truth.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My husband has been out of work for 8 months now, we have two very used cars, rent a one bedroom apartment. We have turned off cable, phone (we have a pay as you go phone now) we dont eat out anymore or go to fast food restaurants, we dont buy anything that isnt a "need" we budget groceries and shop at numerous stores to get the best deals, I cut my own hair as does he, we switched our cats food to a less expensive brand.......My point is, is that we could go to our local food bank but we dont need to, because we have cut back on our expenses and we know that there are those even less fortunate than us who need the food more. I suspect thats the case with alot of people, but they just dont want to give up "things"
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's always good to help out where you can, and volunteer. it's interesting to see how people are coping when they aren't used to having to ask for help. i just had to ask my mom for help and luckily she's in a position that she can do something to help me...since my fiance's been out of work for over 6 months.
emalove emalove 8 years
I know, it is, Aimee...
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
This is so depressing.
syako syako 8 years
Ok. I have a question and I don't want to sound insensitive, but it's something I've been thinking about lately with all the news about the economy and layoffs, etc. We live near a city food bank, and every day at 6 p.m. they serve dinner. There's no off street parking and the streets surrounding are filled to the brim with cars and then as soon as 6:30 or 7 rolls around all the cars are gone. Am I completely wrong to think that if you own a car (in a city with great public transit) then perhaps you really don't need a free meal? I really am being genuine in asking this, I realize that there are probably some people who do need a free meal and also need a car, but it seems like we live in a culture today where people would rather go hungry than give up cable tv and high speed internet?
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