After numerous casinos in Atlantic City shut down, it wasn’t just those who enjoyed the nightlife whose lives were affected. With about 10,000 casino workers losing their jobs because of these closures, thousands of people in south Jersey are left being unable to provide basic necessities for their families. Robert, of Absecon, NJ, is one of them. Here’s his story:
"My name is Robert. I have been a cook in one of the casinos in Atlantic City for the past 20 years. Recently, I have had to do something I never thought I would have to. I went to the emergency food pantry for help in feeding my family. My wife, who was a banquet server at Revel, had just lost her job due to them closing, and my hours have been reduced down to 2 days a week. The majority of our income comes from unemployment right now.
Within the last 5 years, I have bought a home for my wife and I, and we have had a son almost 3 years ago. Along with that, I also assist my younger sister who is developmentally disabled. She has been receiving food stamps for approximately 5 years at about $180 a month. With that amount my wife and I still had to help her with approx. $100 a month just to get by. Recently, her amount has been reduced to $44 a month. Because of this I had to sign her up for the emergency food pantry, as well.
My story is just one of thousands of casino workers who are losing their financial stability caused by casino closures and a reduction in staffing and hours. And my sister’s story is one of tens of thousands of people who were impacted by changes to the federal farm bill.
We are both, my sister and I, struggling just to make ends meet and are grateful for the support we have received from the food pantry. It is my hope that as more and more people are faced with the difficult reality of finding a decent paying job that offers health benefits for themselves and their families, that someone will be there to help support us in our time of need, and not forget that we are all simply human beings doing the best we can with the hand that we were dealt."
As a client of the Community Assistance Pantry, Robert is able to receive his groceries for free at a local food pantry supplied by the Community FoodBank of NJ on a weekly basis. He seemed to make this work for his family for as long as he could; however, more recently, Robert’s pay at the casino has been reduced even further. Because Robert relies so heavily on the donations made to CFBNJ, it’s for the thousands of other people like Robert that we are doing this food drive for.
Donating just 1 box of food can help feed an entire family dinner and donating only $1 can help provide between $8-11 worth of food for a family. Help us help others.