GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Many metro Atlanta seniors are struggling to make ends meet. As costs soar, Gwinnett County resident Joe Karch is among them.
“Rent is $1,200, $1,400, $1,600 for one bedroom apartment," said Karch who is also a Navy veteran.
He served the country proudly as an elite Navy Seal in the 70s, but said things have changed a lot for him since then.
"I no longer drive because of the aches and pains throughout my body," added Karch.
But his pain goes beyond his body to his wallet. And, like many seniors, Karch now struggles just to put food on his table.
"By the time I go shopping I have nothing," he added.
According to National Council on Aging, Karch represents more than 15 million adults 65 and older economically insecure, meaning they live at or below the poverty level of $2,100 a month. Karch, falls below that average. "I live on $1,900 hundred a month," he told 11Alive.
Many other metro Atlanta seniors are also struggling in this staggering inflation. The soaring cost of housing and health care, coupled that with poor nutrition, a lack of transportation and shrinking savings, have left family without help.
Fay Josephs, the founder of local nonprofit called Mending the Gap, said for many all it takes is one major life event to push them onto the street. Josephs said 12 years ago, she was helping just a couple of dozen seniors and now things have now blossomed to more than 400 in Gwinnett County and there delivering healthy food choices.
"We don't want to give them just canned food. So, we try to provide them with healthy food," said Josephs. "Fresh produce, meat, eggs all those things to keep them healthy."
And, with almost 60,000 senior citizens in metro Atlanta, those like Karch said every outreach effort counts.
“So it's good to go! Mending the Gap fills that gap, so I'll have stuff to eat," Karch said.
For seniors looking for job opportunities and other information, visit CareerOneStop, a website sponsored by the Department of Labor that has additional resources.