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Susan, food stamp recipient

photo by Susan Falzone; courtesy of Professional Women Photographers "PWP"

“I've been out of steady work for three years now. I think a lot of the office work has disappeared, or there's just so few people doing so many people's jobs now. You don't get those $15–20 an hour jobs anymore. Everything's like $7.40, and there’s not a lot of full-time. I just don't know how you can pay rent on less than $1,000 a month and feed yourself at the same time.

“Back in April, I went to the [GrowNYC, Union Square] greenmarket manager to see about work. As we were talking, he asked me if I was on food stamps. Someone from the Food Bank was there, and helped me apply. I did end up getting a job here but I still qualify for food stamps since I make just $800 a month.

“If it weren't for the Food Bank, I would probably be eating whatever's really, really cheap — rice and beans or bread. I try to use my food stamps mostly at the greenmarket, because I do believe in supporting farmers. Plus, this way I'm able to keep my nutrition up, which is so important. I'm 45, so obviously there are health issues that are coming up.

“The Food Bank is fantastic. When I was losing my apartment a while back, I can't tell you how reassuring it was just to be able to go to the Food Bank’s website and see, if I did get locked out before I got home, where I could find a meal. Thank you.”

We met Susan at the Union Square greenmarket, where the Food Bank offers food stamp assistance.

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