Our Stories: Joe Karcz
In 2002, I got divorced, bought a little bungalow, and renovated it—everything down to the studs—while I was in between knee surgeries. I completed all the rooms except for the bathroom, and then Superstorm Sandy hit.
My home was severely damaged. I never thought it would take over 65 months to rebuild. One contractor in the area ripped off seniors to the tune of $1.3 million dollars. I ended up moving 14 times. I was paying rent, child support, and the mortgage on a house I couldn’t live in. I had to pull my pension to get healthcare for my children, and I also applied for SNAP.
Now congress wants to cut SNAP, but that program should not be cut. It should be helping people who are surviving disasters, and who are struggling to feed babies. I’ve been on both sides; I’ve lived in a big house with a picket fence making six figures, and I’ve also had to get food off a Red Cross truck. Never judge, and don’t feel embarrassed if you need to apply.
Getting a meal on the table each and every day is getting harder and harder. For the people who can’t do it, should they tell their kids to go to bed hungry? That shouldn’t happen in this country.