Poverty in America is nothing new, but for those who consider themselves middle class, it is a totally new experience. These are the people who live in America's suburbs or even in rural communities, most of them educated, who find themselves jobless.
As a result of their new found joblessness, they resort to their savings and their retirement funds. They utilize their entire resources and then they find themselves below the poverty level, unable to even buy food. They don't want to be in this situation, nobody does but when it comes to asking for help, it tends to be more difficult for them. They don't want to take away from the people who really need it, because they want to be the person donating to those in need. They don't want to ask for help. In my field of work, as the Outreach Coordinator, I see this on a daily basis. I stare poverty in the face, every day. These folks are no different from you and me. They want to work, they want to be able to support their families, just like we all do; however, the jobs are scarce and the help even more so.
Food Banks across the nation and here in Texas, try to bear some of the burden by providing food assistance. Food banks do more than just help with food; they provide a support system through staff, and volunteers that help you do more than just feed your family. Through partner agencies they provide a sense of relief and peace that comes from knowing that your family is taken care of and fed. See, poverty doesn't care if you own the big fancy house in the suburbs, or if you drive an expensive car, or even if you have a Master's Degree or not. It only cares about consuming your life. To beat it, you must know that "this too shall pass" and that you are not alone.
While at home one evening watching television, I was struck by this story from Dateline. It was like watching a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the people I meet every day in my job. Here is a link to the story (click here), and remember, hunger is no respecter of persons.