52-year-old Eva Johnson of Montevallo, is part of America's new face of poverty.
"There's no words to describe it when you've been wanting to work all your life and have been independent to come and get to this point of saying, I'm struggling, I can't make it," says Johnson.
After moving back to Alabama from Florida, Johnson received help from Shelby Emergency Assistance. She has a job at McDonalds in Montevallo. She walks to work.
Johnson already has suffered one mild heart attack, but she knows she must keep going.
"Working, that's all I know to do is work. Just keep working, try to get
as many hours as I could. If they called me in seven days a week, I would
work seven days a week," she says.
Mary Kelley, with the United Way's Community Food Bank in Birmingham says, more people are using their food pantries.
In the last two years, the food bank has taken on 16,000 more people.
Kelley says food pantries are becoming an option for some looking to free up money for other necessities.
"If we can give food to somebody, we can help them free up money in order to pay their rent, or mortgage, or their utilities, or something else that can help their families out each month," says Kelley.
For Johnson, the economy has taken a toll on her life.
She lost a better paying job and now settles for minimum wage. Still, she urges others like her to keep fighting.
"You may not be in that four-five bedroom house still, but you can get a job where you can still do something. Get you a smaller place, downsize. But I do tell them, don't give up.... Don't give up," says Johnson.
For more information about local food pantries, click here.