SC ranked No. 2 nationwide for food hardship

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Someone you know may be going hungry tonight. A new report reveals many South Carolinians did not have enough money to buy food for their families last year.

"It's hard to support one person, much less two, three, four or five people," said Kevin Temple, who knows.

Temple is homeless and living at the Oliver Gospel Mission, but he never dreamed he'd be there. "I wanted to get married and get a house, have 2.5 kids," he said.

Temple moved to South Carolina from New York to look for a better life. He had a job, a car and an apartment, but once he was laid off, he lost it all.

Now he's struggling to find the basic need of food. "There are times when you get hungry and you're not able to eat," he said.

His daily hunger mirrors many others in the state. A new report done by the Food Research and Action Center shows more than 24 percent of South Carolinians could not afford to eat during the first half of 2010.

"We rank number 2 as having the second highest food hardship in the country," said Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center.

Berkowitz says the ranking is a symptom of all the state's problems, including high unemployment. "Shame on America that there's anybody in this country who has to skip a meal because they can't earn enough money to be able to afford that meal," she said.

Temple is grateful for the donations of others. Despite the Monday-through-Saturday meals at the Mission, there are times when he still doesn't get to eat. "During those times, you pray," he said.

Relying on faith and goodwill to fulfill a basic need that doesn't come easy.

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