The shelves are a little bare at the Madison County Food Bank right now.
“Donations are down and the need is rising,” food bank director Bobbie Rooker said.
The food bank has served 643 individuals during just the past three months (July, August and September) – a significant increase over 2012, when they had served 927 people in a nine-month period (Jan. 1 – Sept. 30).
And with the holidays approaching, the shortage in donations is particularly worrisome to Rooker, who’s been helping feed the county’s poor and needy for many years.
“That’s a big jump, and we still have the busiest time of the year to go – the holidays,” she said.
She said it’s taking families who qualify for Food Stamps (EBT) longer to get their applications processed, which means they look to the food bank in the meantime to help with food. She thinks that is just one of a number of factors driving up the demand for assistance.
Rooker says they try to supply each member of a family that is referred to them with enough food to furnish breakfast and at least one other nutritious meal per family member for a five-day period, but it isn’t always easy.
Rooker said besides an increase in need, she’s seen a decrease in support.
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