Newly Poor Swell Lines at Food Banks
“A deadbeat husband and a loss of a job,” said one woman in her 20s, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not want her friends to know she had been visiting the pantry.
It was her second visit. The first time, she could barely get out of her car. “Let me put it this way — it took me a long time to come here,” she said as she added a bag of lentils to her cart. “I felt like a loser. I felt like a total lowlife.”
A woman in her 50s wearing gold earrings and a red Vera Bradley bag over her shoulder said she had recently lost her job and had been struggling to pay her bills. “I can understand why people would be embarrassed to come here,” the woman, who gave only her first name, Louise, said as she loaded her groceries into the trunk of a silver Chevy Malibu. “I guess I am a little embarrassed.”
Joan Verba, 53, said she had been coming up short financially since she quit her job as an accountant after her husband became ill with cancer. When her husband died, leaving her and a 14-year-old son, she put off plans to re-enter the work force.
“The job market is so bad right now,” she said. “My son eats 24-7. I just need this to supplement my food bills.”
Her mother, Carol Morrison, stood nearby. “I’m just here for moral support,” she said, inspecting the shelves. “And nosiness.”