Changing face of hunger - Paula Thompson

HADDONFIELD, N.J. - November 12, 2013

According to the Coalition Against Hunger, at least 1 in 7 people in our area struggle to put food on the table.

When you think of Haddonfield in Camden County, you may think wealthy suburb, but 4-percent of the town's population lives in poverty.

Not so long ago, Paula Thomason was married with 6 kids and a thriving real estate career. But then her marriage fell apart and the real estate bubble burst.

"The amount of income that we get just so radically dropped," said Paula.

She lost her house and her real estate license when she couldn't keep up with the fees, and started taking whatever jobs she could find.

She now works part time at a jewelry store but her hours were recently cut to just two days a week.

Paula said it was hard to all of a sudden have to worry about money and something as basic as that to eat every day.

"It's very overwhelming. It can be so overwhelming you can't function," she said.

Paula is trying to get her real estate license back. In the meantime, she relies on Philabundance to help feed her family.

"You shouldn't have to choose between food and your electric bill," she said.

As Paula prepares dinner with her son, they say their prayers and thank the people who donate to places like Philabundance.

"I would love to get some fresh fruits and vegetables from Philabundance," she said. "The people that donate, God bless you, because it really makes such a difference."

Last year, the 6abc Dunkin Donuts Holiday Food Drive provided 175,000 meals to families in need. This year, we hope to do even more.

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