The Changing Face of Hunger: Dee’s Story

News Source: WPVI

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We are taught that education is key, that a college degree is the golden ticket to a good paying job. However the reality is that there are no guarantees – a lesson Phoenixville’s Dee Burbage knows all too well.

Growing up, Burbage’s future seemed bright. She was raised on the Main Line and earned scholarships to a private high school and college. 

But when it came time to land a job, she couldn’t.

“That was the most frustrating part. Here I am, a very well educated woman, but there’s nothing out there,” said Burbage.

Burbage took two low wage jobs and managed to get by but then her marriage failed, her mom and brother died, and she got sick.

“Minimal insurance, no disability and here I was – I lost my housing,” she said.

Burbage was homeless for four years. Still she went to work every day and spent far too many nights sleeping in her car.

“There aren’t any decent paying jobs. I mean the best you can do is an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant and you know here I am with a degree. It’s very frustrating,” she said.

Burbage is now living in public housing and is grateful for the Church of the Good Samaritan Food Closet in Paoli. 

The Food Closet is run by volunteers and serves about 350 hungry households a year.

“If I didn’t have access to this, it would probably be sardines, which I get from the dollar store, and crackers,” said Burbage.

However she says it’s about making sure everyone has a meal.

“Today I am getting stuff for people in the building who weren’t able to come here,” said Burbage.

Despite all that she’s endured, Burbage is still positive and uplifted. 

“You have to look at it as the glass is half full, as opposed to half empty. the bad things, they too will pass,” she said

If you’d like to help families in need this holiday season, visit the 6abc/Dunkin Donuts Holiday Food Drive page to see the many ways that you can connect, share, and give.

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