SOUTH BEND, Ind. (INS) – Many of us ate too much, spent more than we should have and ended up with gifts we don’t even need this holiday season. But there are also many Hoosiers who struggle every day, including through the holidays.
Food bank workers say, while donations go up at this time of the year, the need doesn’t stop after December 25. Beverly Torres, case manager at Stone Soup Kitchen in South Bend, said families are struggling to make ends meet and often run out of money for food before payday.
“Let’s assume that there’s one person making minimum wage. You gotta pay rent, electric, gas, water, food, all these things out of that little bit of money,” Torres said.
About 700,000 Indiana residents were assisted last year by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Nationally, nearly 90 percent of SNAP participants live in households that include a child, a senior or someone who is disabled.
Tim Mulloy works full time as a fast-food worker, but says he relies on federal food assistance and local food banks to feed his son.
“I would need to make $12 to $15 an hour to completely make it on my own, and even then it would be tough,” Mulloy said. “Big businesses make a lot of money, so they can afford to pay us a little more, because we work really hard.”
Indiana’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the same as the federal rate.