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Hunger crisis hits local counties, survey shows

Original post made on Feb 8, 2010

One in four people are at risk for hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, according to a report to be released by the nationwide hunger-relief charity "Feeding America" in mid-March.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 8, 2010, 11:46 AM

Comments (4)

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Posted by Thom
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm

"A lot of first-time clients always had a job, had never been unemployed, but now they've been unemployed for one or two years. They're a little embarrassed to have to ask for food," she said.

I can relate. Lost my job after 12 yrs with the firm. I'm over 50 and a veteran of the US Navy. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I find myself being turned down for employment in places you wouldn't expect to be turned away from. I feel confident in telling you the places I've been denied because I can prove it. Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, CVS, Google, Fry's, 8 different security guard comapnies advertising for people with no or little experience. I even went as far as getting the state security guard card. Rite-Aid, Sears, Target, Compass Components, and many many others. I'm at the point I just need work. I would even think of the fast food industry but I have a personal thing preventing me from working in a food enviornment. I have 30 years of sals and customer service behind me.

It's sad because I also put in over 25 years of coaching the youth in my community and now my community has turned it's collective back on me.

My unemployment expired and my savings is almost gone. I'm also not looking for a pity party just a chance to work again. And another sad reality is there are people out there looking for ways to skate through life by collecting disability checks, and here I am screaming 'I'M HERE and I want to work" but no one is listening.

I wish those of you in a similar situation all the best and know you're not alone.

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Posted by Ike
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

More like "Feeding Mexico." Most charities I've been involved in are swamped by illegal immigrants looking for handout, good economy or bad.

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Posted by fixiegirl
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Thom, you are not alone. My husband's out of work and we've had our church pay our rent one month. It's not easy to accept charity but it's a season in life for us, so I'm trying to live that. We've been able to help people in the past, paying rent or taking people in.

I think it's frustrating to me because my husband is a super-ethical, hardworking man, and he'd do a great job for anybody.

God's always provided for us even when His plan didn't seem to make much sense to my feeble brain. Afterward, I'd have an "Ah HAH" moment and be able to learn something from it.

Thom, I hope you can keep hoping. You sound like a good man.

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Posted by Jesse
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

Wow. This article really hits dead center with me.

I too an unemployed and very frustrated with the current economy. At 58, I feel too young to retire and yet the reality that I may never replace the caliber of my lost position – has now fully sunk in.

My layoff from a Fortune 100 company occurred without much warning and involved a fairly large number of good people from around the country – and many, many of them are still looking for work after over a year. Subsequent layoffs from just this one company have only added more folks to the unemployment pool. Keeping in touch with some of them confirms that unlike the relatively vibrant Bay Area, other parts of California and the US are truly depressed.

We are on a strict budget and have dropped all discretionary spending like dining out, limiting or combining car travel to save gas and turning off lights, etc. to reduce utility bills. Additionally, the seemingly steady increase in food costs must be noticed by more than just our family. We now actively seek coupons and specials to offset basic household costs.

I have submitted more than 300 applications over the last 13 months, networked like crazy and considered jobs that 18 months ago – would have been unthinkable. Still no results. This empty process is depressing for a result-oriented manager with decades of achieved career results.

I am confident that our economy will improve, but I really doubt that many of us will get the kind of employment we were once use to. The trick now is to preserve our remaining savings and just “maintain” until we see the economy improve upward.

Thankfully, we’re not in need of hunger-relief charity...yet. But we can certainly relate to the effect that our national economic downturn “impacts families across the board.”

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