The new hungry: College-educated, middle-class cope with food insecurity - CNN.com The new hungry: College-educated, middle-class cope with food insecurityBy Stephanie Chen, CNNDecember 13, 2010 9:08 a.m. EST Rolanda McCarty, who was laid off and once earned $38,000 a year, relies on a food bank to feed her USDA: About 50 million Americans live in food insecure households Food banks across the country are experiencing an uptick in demand A growing number of food insecure people are college-educated and middle-class Families have to make tough decisions between paying the bills and buying dinnerLawrenceville, Georgia (CNN) -- Come Christmas dinner, Rolanda McCarty, a 36-year-old single mother, usually goes all out. Her table last year featured a rosemary-and-oil rubbed turkey and a sweet ham. She prepared fresh collard greens according to her grandmother's recipe. The dessert -- a rich butter pound cake -- was made from scratch. But after being laid off from her technical recruiting job in January because of the struggling economy, there will be no fancy holiday feast, no family members pouring into her downsized one-bedroom apartment. She will rely on what she has: canned vegetables and microwavable meals from her community food bank. "It was a little bit embarrassing," said McCarty of accessing the food pantry at the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry for the first time last month. "But you know, I have to do what I have to do to survive." It is perhaps around the holidays, a period of celebration often centered on food, when there is no clearer reminder for many once middle-class families of what life used to taste like. McCarty, who is college educated and served in the Air Force for four years, describes herself as "an independent person," who earned $38,000 a year before the economy took a turn.