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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Working professionals head to food bank

Working professionals head to food bank

* Story Highlights
* Workers at San Geronimo center surprised by some of the new faces
* "We have people in marketing and software. We have a lot of Realtors," director says
* "I had so much. How did I lose it?" woman who sought food at the center said
* Volunteer: These days, lines for food tell you all you need to know about economy

By Dan Simon
CNN

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Every Thursday afternoon, the San Geronimo Valley Community Center opens its doors to the needy. It becomes a food bank to serve the most vulnerable citizens of Marin County, California.

Bread, fruit, canned vegetables, meat and cereal are all available for free.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as nationwide, more people are coming to food banks. In 2008, demand for emergency food assistance went up by 30 percent compared with the previous year, according to Feeding America, a national hunger relief charity.

Given the economic downturn, it is not surprising that food banks are seeing more traffic. But workers at the San Geronimo center are surprised by some of the new faces.

"We have people in marketing and software. We have a lot of Realtors that live out here. So those are the people we're seeing for the first time," said Dave Cort, the center's executive director.

Claudia Bartram, 59, was terrified to walk in the door and nearly broke out in tears when she asked a worker how she could get food. "It's humiliating to find yourself in this situation. I grew up in a privileged lifestyle," she said.

Bartram, who is divorced and without children, said she made a comfortable living as a sales representative in a variety of industries. She said the stock market wiped out a large portion of her nest egg. And things got worse a few weeks ago when she lost her job as a representative for an in-home care provider for senior citizens.

She said she's using what's left of her savings to pay the mortgage on her $350,000 condominium.

"You keep thinking you're an intelligent person. I had so much. How did I lose it?"

Food bank workers say it's common for people to be apologetic, especially those who were making six-figure incomes. "Now, all of a sudden, they're coming to us," said Larry Sly, the director of the Food Bank for Contra Costa and Solano counties.

Sly estimates that 10 percent of those coming to food banks in his area are new people. So far, he says, his food bank has been able to keep up with the demand.

The food there is mostly donated from local grocery stores and the United States Department of Agriculture. A typical visit will provide about $50 worth of groceries.

"You know at least you're offering folks help. It's not the answer to their problem. They need a job. To the extent we give them food, it makes a difference, " Sly said.

Bartram hasn't decided if she'll go back for more assistance. She says she finds the whole thing sad and ironic because she used to donate to food banks.

"I have much more empathy for people who can find themselves in this kind of situation because I see how easily it happened to me. I can certainly understand how it happened to other people, " she said.

One food bank volunteer said that these days, the lines for food will tell you everything you need to know about the economy.

"This is kind of the bottom of the barrel. The more people that hit the bottom of the barrel -- that's the real indicator of where the economy is at, not what the Dow industrial average is sitting at," the volunteer said.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:14 PM
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!!! Free food !!!

!!! Why pay hundreds when you can get it for free AND continue living in your McMansion !!!

!!! Free lodging !!!

!!! Why pay thousands to the bank when you can live in your McMansion for FREE !!!
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:22 PM
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^Man, you're a real meathead, aren't you??

"If you don't know what you're looking for it's kind of hard to find it!"

CCTORONTO:
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If it helps America through it's current crisis, I say go ahead! We can take it, after all we're Canadian!

Blame Canada!!
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:24 PM
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^Man, you're a real meathead, aren't you??
Dude,

Did you actually read the article ?

She said she's using what's left of her savings to pay the mortgage on her $350,000 condominium.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:27 PM
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VERSUS BEING HOMELESS

"If you don't know what you're looking for it's kind of hard to find it!"

CCTORONTO:
Quote:
If it helps America through it's current crisis, I say go ahead! We can take it, after all we're Canadian!

Blame Canada!!
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:32 PM
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VERSUS BEING HOMELESS
Being unable to live in a $350K condo equates being homeless,
that's just great.

Keep it up.

!!! GOOD JOB !!!
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:43 PM
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Being unable to live in a $350K condo equates being homeless,
that's just great.

Keep it up.

!!! GOOD JOB !!!
This is exactly what my comment was referring to. Because of the housing market problem, more than likely she can't sell it and make a profit. Probably can't even sell it and break even. She lost the majority of her savings and contrary to your statement she can't just stop paying for it, she would get evicted=homeless. It may have been stupidity on her part to buy that $$ of a condo, but I'll bet she bought it with her husband and ended up with it in the divorce. It's a sad statement of current affairs and then you post that ridiculous crap.

"If you don't know what you're looking for it's kind of hard to find it!"

CCTORONTO:
Quote:
If it helps America through it's current crisis, I say go ahead! We can take it, after all we're Canadian!

Blame Canada!!

Last edited by bandit96; 03-03-2009 at 01:52 PM. Reason: forgot
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:44 PM
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Milfy, should the economy smack you poorly, you are going to be so ill prepared that it is going to be scary.

You only know what you read in the article. You don't know all the details and you make assumptions that are drawn from illogical conclusions based on partial information.

Hopefully it won't happen to you but if it does, I really hope you learn from the many people in the many articles you have laughed at.

Karma has a way of being a real bitch.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bandit96 View Post
This is exactly what my comment was referring to. Because of the housing market problem, more than likely she can't sell it and make a profit. And lost the majority of her savings and contrary to your statement she can't just stop paying for it, she would get evicted=homeless. It may have been stupidity on her part to buy that $$ of a condo, but I'll bet she bought it with her husband and ended up with it in the divorce. It's a sad statement of current affairs and then you post that ridiculous crap.
I wanna live in a multi-million dollar mansion like Bill Gates .... BWAHH HAWHHH HHAWH.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:51 PM
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My advice to her is stop paying the damn mortgage ,
save those savings and
wait for the savior to lower your mortgage
or better yet, give everyone the right to live in a big home regardless of their income.
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