New faces of poverty: Keeping it a secret

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by JOHN SHARIFY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JohnSharify

KING5.com

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 6:09 PM

It’s the end of the line for many.

“They’ve lost their jobs,” says Kris Betker from Hopelink. “They’ve lost their savings.”

They are desperate.

"They’ve lost their homes.”

And so now:

“They’re at a point where their only option is to come here for food.”

Many are embarrassed by it.

“Nobody wants to ask for help,” says Kris.

And so you won’t hear from the woman who approached us with our camera at Hopelink’s food bank in Kirkland, afraid that her friends at church would find out about her secret.

“But you have to keep it a secret because you don’t know what people would think,” says Kris.

And people do think it still. The myths of poverty.

“That they’re just too lazy to look for work,” says Kris. That it’s their fault.

It’s bad enough you’re hungry, but to have to come to a food bank with that added burden of what people might think, and the people in your church? It can be overwhelming. So we’ll never know that woman’s story. She quickly walked out with a three-day supply of food that will have to last her two weeks. It’s the new face of poverty. Impossible to pick out in a crowd.

“And in a crowd of people with the statistics the way they are, you can look at a group of people and know one out of five might be hungry,” says Kris Betker. “It’s their big secret.”

More info: Hopelink food bank locations

Watch part 1 of "Faces of Poverty": What happened to the American Dream?

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