Updated: Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010, 10:42 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010, 9:58 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Senate Wednesday night approved an extension that would provide funds to more than 80,000 unemployed Hoosiers.
24-Hour News 8 visited Shepard's Cupbard, a northeast side food pantry to talk with a few of the tens of thousands of Hoosiers depending so desperately on the benefits.
"We basically go after people that are unemployed and can verify that by showing us papers that they are drawing unemployment from the state of Indiana," Bob McCutcheon of Shepard's Cupboard.
The pantry also helps folks on Social Security or Social Security disability.
Joyce Ward and Maggie Spilker are best friends and a pair of single moms. Both are unemployed and both are living together. Between the two, they have seven children.
"Both of us have had job interviews this week and we're going crazy trying to find something," Ward said.
Ward is a former letter carrier with the postal service. Out of work for a year, her unemployment benefits have run out, which means no more money to pay the bills.
"Landlords and utilities don't care about whether you have income or not, you have to make the bills," Ward added.
Two weeks before Joyce's benefits expired, Spilker's kicked in.
"But now we're raising seven kids and two adults on $257 a week," Spilker said.
Subtract $200 for rent and that leaves them with $57.
But as long as the House passes the bill as expected on Thursday, the Senate vote gives them more checks and more time.
"I need a job one way or another," Ward acknowledged.
24-Hour News 8 also spoke with Debra Brew, a part-time employee. With her husband and son both disabled, the bills are too much. She's been going to the pantry for a year and has seen the line grow and grow.
"I'm very doubtful the extension it will help. Because that's only a temporary reprieve, once that's gone, what will we do then?" Brew wondered.