Millions of people in Local 6 region living on food stamps

In Kentucky, one in six people do not know where their next meal is coming from. In Tennessee, it is one in five.

There are just shy of one million people who receive assistance in Missouri, and in Illinois that number jumps to more than two million.

Many people who cannot find jobs move to transition homes.

The freezer at Brad McKenzie’s transitional home in Carbondale, Illinois is full.

“Some TV dinners, some waffles, some chicken,” said McKenzie.

When he moved in, he handed over his food stamp card to the Good Samaritan coordinators who use it to buy groceries for him. It was not always like this for McKenzie, though.

“I’ve laid on a metal bed for twenty years, that’s taken a lot out of me,” said McKenzie.

He was in prison.

“I got in a car wreck and killed somebody, and I just quit caring about everything,” said McKenzie.

When he got out of prison, he had no job and no home.

He lived off food stamps, but had no where to cook or store what he bought, so he lived off gas station dinners.

“Mainly potato chips and things like that, sometimes Lunchables,” said McKenzie.

He says he does not want to be on food stamps and applies for four jobs a week.

“I want a job. I want to have a gainful income,” said McKenzie.

He says he wants to support himself and says he knows what he is good at.

“Well, I guess a cashier would be good. I’d be good at cashier,” said McKenzie.

He says he is hoping someone will give him a chance.

For more information on transitional housing, click here.

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