Americans May Struggle to Put Food On The Table - KMSP-TV

Americans May Struggle to Put Food On The Table

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Kathy Selves browses the shelves at Women Helping Women / Men 2 Work (WHW) hoping to find clothes for job interview.  Kathy is unemployed and she lost her home, "We've been in a motel for a while and right now I'm looking for an apartment," she said.

Now 1.3 million Americans like Kathy, 214,000 of them Californians, are losing their unemployment benefits."That's the problem that scares me," said Selves.The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County says in many cases, the $1,100 a month unemployment check is the only money families have to put food on their table.

"That's going to be disastrous for people who've just been barely making ends meet or making ends meet with the help of food assistance from food banks and food pantries in the area.  They're going to be without any income at all," said Barbara Wartman with the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The loss of unemployment benefits will not only affect families, it will like also have a negative impact on the overall economy because people will have less money to spend.

"The ripple effect is going to be probably really devastating in some of our most vulnerable communities," said Wartman.

The emergency unemployment insurance benefits for those who've been out of work for more than 26 weeks are ending as part of the bi-partisan budget deal, reached earlier in the month.

"I think the news of unemployment benefits ending, can be really disheartening to our clients who are really making an effort to find employment and are just not finding those opportunities," said Robyn Williams, with Women Helping Women / Men 2 Work.

Some Senate Democrats vowed to try to get another extension for those unemployment benefits when congress reconvenes in 2014.  At this point it's too soon to tell if that will actually happen

 

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