11-20-2006, 04:21 PM #1
Food banks have less to work with, struggle to meet holiday demand
By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
The nation's food banks are scrambling to serve a growing demand for help during the holidays at a time when government food donations and private cash contributions have fallen.
More people are asking for food even as the amount of government commodities available — milk, cheese, canned goods and other staples — is down 55% from 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A second USDA program of emergency food aid has stayed about the same. Together, they supply about one-fourth of what food banks give away.
The loss of USDA commodities is "huge," says Paul Ash of the San Francisco Food Bank. He says his group is increasing visits to stores to pick up food with "sell by" dates about to expire.
Demand is up 34% from two years ago in the Dallas area, says Colleen Brinkmann of the North Texas Food Bank, and 39% from five years ago in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs, says Brian Smith of the Capital Area Food Bank.
"We have a lot of empty racks in our warehouse. That's unusual," says Carey Miller of the Food Bank of Iowa.
High fuel prices this year have hurt many low-wage earners by forcing them to choose between heating their homes or buying food, says Maura Daly of America's Second Harvest.
"Every food bank will tell you," she says, "they need more food."
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10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord. (KJV)
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11-21-2006, 01:12 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
I am sure the holiday spirit will kick in soon, I hope.
Funny this article comes out today, as my company had a "contest" (no prizes mind you, just a feeling of accomplishment/team work?) to see which department could bring in the most donations for our local food bank. Our company raised over 2000 lbs of "canned" goods, I thought that was great and to me it didn't matter what department had the most. The bummer was our human resource manager said it was against policy to donate to this type of organization, so the moral(sp) went from hip hip hooray to jeeze are we all gonna get fired or written up. It sure brought our spirits down as this "contest" was ongoing for about four weeks. It is unknown why the HR manager didn't put a stop to it at the beginning of our food drive.
11-24-2006, 02:27 AM #3Former Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
I always donate canned goods whenever I can, particularly vegetables, fruits, and canned meat. I also like to give peanut butter, cereal, and juice. It just breaks my heart to know that people are going hungry. It would be nice if the Christmas spirit was alive all year long and donated throughout the year.