We recently met a woman at one of our Mobile Eatery food truck distributions who wished to remain anonymous. She told us how she was recently laid off as a machinist and shortly thereafter her car died. “The bus system makes it hard to fill out applications and interview. I have to get up at 4:45 a.m. to catch the bus just to go to Labor Ready.”
Currently, she still has an apartment, but has exhausted the time limits for her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Oklahoma is one of several states that eliminated the time limit waiver providing a post-recession safety net for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD’s). The waiver helped many recipients continue their SNAP benefits. With the unemployment rate rising and that safety net gone, she is getting behind on her rent and the apartment is starting to add penalties, making it even more difficult to get her head above water.
This Food Bank client typifies just how hard it is to make ends meet for people living on the margins, paycheck to paycheck. The domino effect of a setback in one area can create intractable obstacles to escaping a cycle of poverty.
“It is so easy to get discouraged and start making bad decisions,” she said pushing back against that thought knowing it would create a further setback. She expressed her extreme gratitude for the meal she received from the Mobile Eatery food truck. “This is one instance where I can save a little money. I’m just hoping to get a job and get back on my feet.”