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August 29, 2017
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
James Coffey hitches a ride from Sunbury to Selinsgrove in the morning so that he can stand outside of Wal-Mart to ask for food for his family.
Coffey said all of his life he was able to support his loved ones by working as a pipe fitter until a car accident prevented him from being able to work, causing him to run out of money. Now he waits outside of the Super-Store hoping enough people contribute that he will be able to bring home dinner to his family.
“I have a disability…[I have a] burnt back, and crushed hip,” Coffey told the Orange Street News.
When asked how long he planned on waiting outside of the Walmart, Coffey said it depends on how long he will be able to stand the pain.
“It depends when my back starts hurting, then I’ll go home and take a hot bath to try to relieve the pain,” Coffey told the OSN.
When asked about the different government benefits and local soup kitchens available to help people in the area Coffey only said it wasn’t enough to meet his needs
But Coffey isn’t alone. People begging for food has become a common sight for residents of Selinsgrove. Wal-Mart, Target, and other big stores on the strip where people shop have become popular spots for those in need of a handout. Coffey says he doesn’t like that he has to beg and would prefer to work, but has a family at home that he needs to feed and doesn’t have any other options.
It wasn’t exactly how Coffey expected to spend his retirement years.
“All I ask for is food, just a little help,” he told the OSN.