The Face of Hunger in Delaware

Every day individuals and families are struggling to make ends meet in the First State. Hunger does not discriminate against gender, weight, color or ethnicity. It does not stereotype. It’s affecting a working family of four, a single mom and her two children, a college-educated man who recently became victim of the failing economy and an elderly woman living off of a small monthly social security check.

Meet Wilma.

Wilma never in a “million years” thought she’d need food assistance. With a degree from The Ohio State University, Wilma spent her career working in the operations field. Two years ago the position she held for 15-plus years was eliminated when the company downsized from 200 employees to 15. Since then it’s been an uphill battle.

“It’s so emotional when you lose your job,” she said. “You lose healthcare and it seems like your whole world crashes.”

To help make ends meet, Wilma visits Calvary Assembly of God’s food closet in Dover. She has full custody of her 15-year-old grandson so the food she receives allows her to feed herself and grandson.

“I was ashamed to come at first,” she said. “Here I was making $50,000 a year and now I’m not making anything.”

Hall currently receives $16 a month in food stamps. “At first I wasn’t going to use food stamps, but I thought about it and $16 is milk, a loaf of bread and a few other things I may need.”

She’s currently searching for a job, but it’s been difficult with the economy. Her resumé is on several professional sites and a headhunter is helping her with the job search. “I’m not old enough to retire, but it feels like my experience means nothing.”

She encourages all to give back to the community. “Give a can or two,” she says. “Today you’re giving for your neighbor. It might be for someone you sit next to in church or someone you ride the bus with.”

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Filed under Advocate, Hunger, Poverty

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