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People who lost their jobs during the pandemic fear they’ll never get them back

In the middle of a miles-long line is Nick Berger and his wife, Dulce.

I would repair fishing reels and rods and things like that because we’re seniors, so it wasn’t much work,” Berger said.

But it was work that paid for food and work that is gone now.

Not too far down the line is Acela Pavon. Her now unemployed son and daughter used to help her put food on the table.

“Before, yes, they used to. But now I just want them to stay away from me because they have too many problems looking for jobs and they’re kind of desperate,” she said.

Just a few feet away, away from all the cars, is Erlinda Reyes — a now unemployed mother of six and grandma of one. She’s got seven hungry mouths to feed.

“If I see it can last me the whole week or for the next week, I’ll pull through and I think if there’s other people that can use this, so I’ll make it last,” she said.

Reyes fears she’ll never get her job back, and she’s not alone.

New research says 47% of folks who lost their jobs think those jobs are gone for good. That’s up from 22% in April.

All of those unemployed Americans need food. In late July, 30 million Americans told the census bureau they struggle to put food on the table.

Right now, as more companies struggle, there’s no telling how many more families might join this long line along with these folks.

“It is difficult to go to the store and buy, and some of the things it’s really high, expense wise,” said Dulce Berger.

There is some hope. Nearly every day we get notes from companies looking to hire. To see our list of who’s hiring in SWFL, click here.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Briana Harvath
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