POSTED: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 10:10pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 8, 2013 - 10:09am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — With people all over the country struggling to make ends meet, they are turning to organizations for help. What you might not realize is that those seeking help are the same people you work with every day.
"This is what I have in the fridge some water juice and milk, rice, green beans, milk, eggs, chicken, meats; nourishment a lot of nourishment for the body,” says Thelma Presley.
Thelma has food in her fridge and dinner on the table, but she never thought this is where she would be, unable to work and constantly looking for an upper hand.
"I never thought I would be the one who needed food assistance," Presley noted.
After an accident with an 18-wheeler her life changed forever.
“Never in my life would I have dreamed of to have to go to a food pantry to get food. I thank God that it's there now," says Presely.
Even Tomeka Lacey, a mother of three, a wife and a full time employee says without the help she wouldn’t know what to do or where to turn.
'”You have bills and rent is high, car insurance, phone bills plus 3 kids to take care of, that's a lot to take on," says Lacey.
This is an expample of what we call the new face of hunger, or the working poor. With expenses growing for families across the country and employers paying next to nothing, it’s hard for people like Tomeka to make ends meet.
"When I was growing up I didn't think I would need it," noted Lacey.
The Food Bank sees families who are working or in the workforce but many times that income just isn't enough and often times they see food stamp assistance as well.
"I’m a full time worker. For a snap account only get $200 plus and I have 3 kids,” says Lacey. “I have a 3 year old daughter, a 10 year old son and a 5 year old son and that's not enough to take care of my kids for a whole month.”
And even though their food is given to them, Tomeka makes sure her son, Prince is taught about nutrition.
Seeking assistance isn’t something that should be frowned upon, especially during hard times. It’s there and food banks across the country, including the Center of Hope, are there to help in a time of need.
To qualify for Food Bank assistance a family of four's income must be $30,000 dollars or less and an individual must have a salary of $15,000 dollars or less.