Isn’t this heartbreaking? The country is now even more starkly divided into haves and have nots, and most of them are people who followed the rules but got screwed, anyway – and if that’s not a recipe for social upheaval, I don’t know what is:
In Forsyth County’s rolling subdivisions near Atlanta, Easy Street seems to run forever. What recession? The average household here earns $88,000 – the highest in Georgia, 13th highest in America.
But for more families here, prosperity is a pretense. The job’s lost, the savings are gone, and the big house is either in foreclosure or on its way. And just keeping food on the table is a struggle.
So Forsyth’s newly-needy file into local food banks.
Yesterday’s givers have become today’s takers.
“People lost their jobs and went from great incomes to no incomes,” said Sandy Beaver, Sandy Beaver leads The Place, Forsyth County’s biggest non-profit center for social services. She calls those who visit The Place “the new poor.”
The Place’s main mission: Feed the hungry.
“Who are the new poor in this county?” asked Strassmann.
“The new poor could be you, me, your neighbor, your church member, somebody who has been affected by the economy,” she said. “Many of our people who have come for assistance used to be our donors. And they’ll say, ‘I never thought I’d have to do this, never in my wildest dreams.'”
“People who two, three four years ago, the hunger would have been unimaginable?” asked Strassmann.