Food banks feeling the economic pinch - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Food banks feeling the economic pinch

Zack Wilson, High Plains Food Bank Public Relations Director Zack Wilson, High Plains Food Bank Public Relations Director
Joe Kirkwood, Cornerstone Outreach Center Joe Kirkwood, Cornerstone Outreach Center

The High Plains Food Bank hopes the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive will help stock-pile foods for their slowest donation time of the year.

Each year, the food bank hopes to collect about 40,000 pounds of food during the food drive, and this year is no different.

But with the economic downturn, the food bank has seen a change in their usual demand.

"We have seen a sharp increase, a 25% increase, of demand here on the food bank, of which the vast majority of these individuals wanting help are people seeking first time assistance," said Zack Wilson, High Plains Food Bank Public Relations Director.

Because of this increase, the food bank needs more regular food donations.  The food drive is important to them now because donations typically drop during summer months. 

"We are asking people for their urgent help and we realize what's going on in the economy and it's effected people's checkbooks and your pockets," said Wilson.  "Think of those who are in need."

When food bank donations are down, it affects the local agencies who help feed the hungry.

"People coming for food is always a constant. The need for food is tremendous," said Joe Kirkwood, Cornerstone Outreach Center Reverend.  "We have had a difficult time getting food anywhere."

Cornerstone Outreach serves about 20,000 people a year.

Without large quantities of staple food items, Kirkwood has a hard time purchasing healthy foods for the center's clients.

"Right now, you can see the food that is going to be going out today. Many times these baskets are loaded and overflowing," said Kirkwood.  "It's not just that we don't want to give the food, its just that the food donations are down."

Kirkwood hopes local donations will increase, or they may be forced to lay off more staff or even close their doors.

 

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