Buffalo is 4th poorest U.S. city

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Michael Morlock said going to a food pantry for the first time was a hard decision for him. He’s one of many people that go to the food pantry for assistance.

Morlock was a farmer for 17 years and paid his way through nursing school. After his hours working in home care dwindled, he moved to Buffalo for more work. “My cases were very short. So except 10 to15 hours a week, my hours were 40 hours a week in Buffalo,” he said.

However Morlock explained that the transition to living in Buffalo was tough, “It was the culture shock that got me. I went through a tough time and the food pantries and soup kitchens were here.”

Darlene Sery from Catholic Charities Parish Outreach said the demand for food is great. According to the latest Census Bureau report, Buffalo has the fourth highest poverty rate in the country. It states that more than 26% of families are struggling below the poverty line.

BuffaloPoverty“The face of poverty is a neighbor, a friend, somebody you may be jogging with,” said Sery, “And you may not know that they’re struggling.”

Sery is the coordinator of three food pantries in Buffalo. She said sometimes families and employed residents get food as well, “You would think that when people come in dressed nicely they’re all put together, but looks are deceiving.”

If you want to help, you can donate to the Food Bank of WNY or Catholic Charities. That way the food bank and pantries can help families survive and get back on their feet.

As for Morlock, he’s on his way. “I’ve been setting my mind on other things and looking for work”. He said he also hopes to become a nurse’s aide again.

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