Food pantries are no longer strictly the realm of the low-income or "working poor." Now, more than ever, "middle-class poor" families with two incomes from the suburbs are seeking assistance from food banks. America, this is the reality all across the country from Wilmington, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia clear to North Texas. People don't have enough food and are turning to food banks for sustenance: problem is, the food banks don't have enough food to go around.
Were you aware of this?
According to Society for City Mayors, “Twenty cities (95 per cent) reported an increase in the demand for emergency food assistance over the past year, one city reported that demand stayed the same and four cities were not able to answer this question. All 21 cities with available data cited an increase in the number of persons requesting food assistance for the first-time. The increase was particularly notable among working families.”
According to the International Herald Tribune,
"Overall, demand at food banks throughout the country increased by 30 percent in 2008 from the previous year, according to a survey by Feeding America, which distributes more than two billion pounds of food every year. While pantries usually see a drop in demand after the holiday season, many in upscale suburbs this year are experiencing the opposite."
In 2007, 3.4 percent of all U.S. households (3.9 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.But you can help.
Donate – Money if you can. But the food banks are in desperate need of food. Buy an extra can good or other food item and donate it to food banks, homeless shelters, churches, and retailers who gather food for the less fortunate.
Advocate – Join a hunger action center in your community.
Volunteer – Work in a local homeless shelter or food bank.
So, join me, donate now (please click link to go straight to their website) to Feeding America (formally Americans Second Harvest). You never know, you just might be feeding your neighbor.
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