Food banks suffer with rising prices

May 1, 2008 9:31:31 PM PDT
With food and fuel prices going through the roof, many families are forced to turn to churches and food banks for help. But in these tough times many of those agencies are struggling.

Some nights, a pack of hot dogs is all Christina Bledsole has for dinner.

"It's like we are trying between the bills and the gas, everything else we try to do the best as we can," Mother, Christina Bledsole said.

Like many families, food for their children and fuel for the car have busted their limited budgets. To get by the Bledsoles rely on a nearby church sponsored food pantry for extra help, but even there the shelves are now bare.

"We have no food on the shelves. That is consistently we hand out everything we get, and people still come for more," Catalyst Community Church Operator, Pastor James Sizemore said.

The Catalyst Community Church on Gillespie Street has operated a food pantry for about a year. Last month the pastor says they handed out food to 500 families, they expect this month will be double that.

"It's incredibly heart breaking, every day we hear more and more stories about families that are bottoming out, because they are hungry, they have no jobs no way to get to work and we work with these families unfortunately our resources are running out," Sizemore said.

He also gets help from the Second Harvest Food Bank. It serves seven counties.

While there is food on the shelves, it's going fast. This year the food bank expects to serve close to a million people.

"We have families out there that are starving --yes," Food Bank Operator, David Griffin said. "If you talk about the economy you are making $7 an hour or something like that and you are paying $4 dollars for gas, you only have $3 to work with, so it hurts."

Griffin says no matter how you do the math, calculating fuel and food prices is going to make it a lot worse for all of us, and have a lot of families like the Bledsoles looking for help that may run low.

Food bank officials say rising costs hurt them as much everyone else. They say they need more donations to keep inventories up.


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