The Face of Hunger Can Be Middle Class: Sheila Enright - KMSP-TV

The Face of Hunger Can Be Middle Class: Sheila Enright


With poverty at a record high, we all can help feed those in need in the Chicago area. Many of those in need are the new faces of hunger: the fallen middle class.

We asked Sheila Enright to tell us her story, in her own words.

"I'm somebody who put a bag of groceries on my porch for every food drive. I never thought I'd have need to go there and say, can you give me some of those groceries back? That's pretty frightening," Enright said.

"They're in a real bind because the middle class, the people that supported them, are suddenly coming to them for services. And I think that's terrifying.

"I had a special needs son, who was a birth injury in Florida. Horrible story, it costs me. Probably why I'm in the financial situation I'm in. I came back to Chicago because of Misericordia.

"My son passed away in 2005.

"The intriguing thing stated to me in Florida, many years ago, at that time I was pretty solvent. And I remember a neurologist saying to me, you have no idea the financial cost you're in for.

"I'm a home owner; it's kind of a double-edged sword. I have an asset; I have my home. So, how does the government look at me? Well, sell your home. You're sitting on a pile of money. No matter how bad the economy is and the loss I would take on my home, I have an asset. So that makes me not somebody you really want to give a hand to.

"My son's a physics major. So thank God, you know he'll work. But listening to his friends talk is the first time I've heard, and these are very bright college kids, talking about leaving America for jobs.

"You've taken us out of the work force and out of our earning years. What are we going to do? What are you going to do with us? And that's my question.

"I always thought of myself as self-sufficient. I didn't want a hand out. I wanted to help others. This is the first time in my life that I'm saying, ‘what am I going to do? What do I do in ten years? What do I do in five years? What are you going to do with me? Literally, am I going to have a tent and a cart?'"

We're teaming up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help fight hunger this holiday season. We can all make a difference in the fight on hunger by donating just one dollar or one food product.

For more information please go to


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