Donations down at food banks

August 19, 2008 6:19:35 PM PDT
A sluggish economy and rising food prices are being blamed for an alarming increase in the number of hungry.Local food banks say the number of families seeking help is up, while donations they say are down.

David Griffin says tough times have hit the second harvest food bank in Fayetteville. Shelves once stocked with tons of canned vegetables and meats, now filled with just soup and bottled water.

"I think about a mother, a father a single parent at home in the morning who can't provide a meal, breakfast for their child and they didn't have anything the night before," Griffin said.

He says a sluggish economy and rising prices have fueled a 60 percent increase in request for help and a decrease in donations.

"We have over 200,000 at risk in our seven county area and we also service 70 to 75,000 per month ourselves," Griffin said.

Tuesday afternoon Crop Walk volunteers met at the food bank to discuss ways to boost donations.

"And we are hoping to get high schools involved, and I mean we can get neighborhoods involved, churches involved, anyone can do this," Local Crop Walk Coordinator Michele Bedsole said.

Last year organizers say Charlotte had the nation's largest crop walk, with tens of thousands of volunteers.

The money raised goes to help struggling families like Fayetteville Resident Barbara Ware-Pittman.

"The benefit for us it helps put food on the table when we don't have money to buy it," Pittman said.

Without donations, food bank officials say many families may find the help they need is running low.


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