By TAMALA EDWARDS
Every year during the holiday season, 6abc partners in the region's largest food drive. But this year, with the long-running recession, the need is greater than ever.
This is the first in what will be a series of reports, this month, on families struggling to make ends meet in a tough economy.
Meet the Jones' from Glenolden, Delaware County. They never imagined ever taking a handout, but like a growing number of families, they now find themselves in need of a helping hand. Call it the changing face of hunger.
For 11 years, Scott Jones taught music to school kids, but in June, the district eliminated its music program, and he was laid off just one month before his wedding to Carlea.
"It was like wow, if we don't find a job knowing what the economy is like, what are we going to do?" Scott Jones asked .
The couple scaled back their wedding plans to a do-it- yourself affair with Carlea's mother making the dress and Carlea studying YouTube videos to learn how to bake a 5-tier wedding cake.
"We wanted a live band too, which we had to scrap," Scott said.
"And he ended up playing saxophone at the wedding," Carla said.
Scott is giving private music lessons and working as a substitute teacher. Both are selling cable door-to-door for extra cash. But still, their household income is just half of what it had been.
"The cabinets were getting kind of empty," Scott said.
As their food supply dwindled, the couple turned to Philabundance for fresh fruits and vegetables and bread.
"The lines of people getting help at our food cupboards are filled with people who say it will never be me. It's never you until it is you," says Bill Clark, President of Philabundance.
Philabundance says in the past two years, need has increased 65%, and more and more, they're seeing middle class families from the suburbs.
"Once we get back on our feet again, we are going to give back and do something in a big way," Jones said.
If you want to help families in need this season, CLICK HERE to see the many ways that you can Connect-Share-Give.