Fred is 78-years old, and ‘recently retired.’ Actually, he had made no plans to stop working, but was forced to do so when the company he worked for made some changes.
Because he was mostly a lower-wage earner his entire life, Fred never managed to sock away huge sums for his later years. He had saved a reasonable amount for emergencies, but that went pretty quickly in the months following his job loss. His unemployment benefits ran out as well.
“I'd been bringing home a paycheck with very few exceptions for more than sixty years,” he said.
“I like to make my own way, and did pretty much the best I could,” he added.
The best he can do now, however, is to try to make ends meet on an $800 per month social security income to cover all needs—including rent, food, utilities, and medicine. When he came to a local food pantry program for help with food, Fred met one of Second Harvest Food Bank’s ‘Benefits Connection’ specialists.
After talking for a while, Fred learned that he would be able to supplement his food money each month with $146 in SNAP food stamp benefits that he was eligible to receive. It had not even occurred to him that such a benefit might be possible.
After determining Fred’s eligibility, the specialist was able to assist him in filling out the online application form and submit it on his behalf for processing. “It’s not a fortune, of course, but it definitely will make a big difference for me,” said Fred.