LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - A woman reaches the end of her rope and turns to WINK NEWS Call for Action for help. After trying for three months to get help putting food on her table, our Call for Action team stepped in and within 24 hours, she and her kids are finally getting the help they deserve.
Since losing her job last year, Kim Kerns has relied on unemployment, child support and food stamps to keep a roof over her kids' heads and food on the table; but three months ago, that all changed.
"Since June of this year my food stamps were denied although my income hadn't substantially changed," Kim told WINK.
Kim said she had been trying to tell the Department of Children and Families it was a mistake.
"There were times that I didn't eat. I went a day or two and didn't eat," she said.
That's when Call for Action stepped. Within 24 hours Kim got the call she had been waiting for.
"Disbelief. I mean I'm like, 'How did she do this? You're my new hero!'... because I've literally done a lot of legwork. It's not like I sit here and think, 'Oh, I wish food would land on my table,' I've written, I've called, I've drove, I've done this and I've done that," Kim explained to our news crew.
With food stamps in hand, Kim can pay some other bills, like her rent.
"I've worked hard my whole life and supported my children and to this day they haven't starved and we will make it," she told us.
We did talk to a DCF spokesman about Kim's situation. He told us when Kim re-applied in June, she had received some extra income they believed would continue. That extra money pushed Kim over the federal threshold to qualify for help. But that income was a one-time payment and didn't continue; after taking another look at her finances, DCF realized that she did qualify for food stamps.
DCF also told us that if you get a decision you don't agree with, you can always request a hearing.