Widowed NJ mom on turning to food bank after being furloughed: 'They are there for this time of need'

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A widowed mother of three in New Jersey is hoping to reduce the "stigma" surrounding food bank assistance after she was furloughed from her job and left without options amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Alissa Hogan told "The Daily Briefing" Tuesday she had reached out to the state's unemployment office multiple times after she was furloughed from her restaurant job, but her requests went unanswered.

"Right now, it's like you're at the mercy of a computer system, and there is just no way of getting through to anyone. There's no one to talk to you," she said. "I can write multiple emails, and you are just not getting the responses that you need."

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After exhausting all other options, Hogan turned to a local food bank for help.

"I really think that food banks are an amazing resource that unfortunately, people are embarrassed to use," Hogan told host Dana Perino.

"I actually was very unknowledgeable, and I thought that food banks were for people who were homeless. I didn't realize that any family could go there."

— Alissa Hogan, 'The Daily Briefing' 

"I actually was very unknowledgeable, and I thought that food banks were for people who were homeless," she explained. "I didn't realize that any family could go there."

Hogan said she chose to speak out to let others who are struggling to feed their families know that food banks are "there for this time of need."

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"There really is a stigma ... behind the whole thing of food banks. But for me going, it was very discreet," she said. "The people don't ask any questions. You drive up in your car, grab a box, and drive away."