Action News

Recession has local families facing hunger

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By TAMALA EDWARDS

With the long-running recession, Philabundance says poverty in our region is now in the double digits, with many families having to choose between buying food and paying their monthly bills.

Rene DaCosta has no problem feeding her two growing boys now but two years ago was a completely different story.

"The company I was working for closed," said DaCosta.

DaCosta worked as an office manager and controller. She and her husband were in the midst of separating and she was the primary breadwinner in her family.

"There were many days I was crying. I was stressed out to my max," said DaCosta.

Within a month, her savings were sapped and her cupboards were bare.

"You know what you have to do as a mom. You have to make things right because you have other lives that you're worrying about," said DaCosta.

She confided in a friend who recommended her to Philabundance.

"I was nervous going there, not knowing what to expect. I had never stood in a line waiting for food so I could feed my children," said DaCosta.

Sharon Stone can relate. She started volunteering for Philabundance three years ago when she was laid off from a well-paying job.

"I got to meet a lot of people who were from corporate America also and were a little reluctant initially to get in the line because they'd never been in the line," said Stone.

Her outlook on hunger has changed since her personal experience.

"If you need food, you need food. It doesn't matter how much you made in the past," said Stone.

After 13 months of searching, DaCosta found a job. She and her boys now have a much greater appreciation for the food on their table.

"Children today just want everything, so it's taught them to be a little bit more humble and it taught them not to be so wasteful," said DaCosta.

If you'd like to help families in need, the Boy Scouts will be collecting canned food donations at 6abc'sThanksgiving Day Parade.

For the other ways that you can donate this holiday season, visit Connect-Share-Give.