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Hunger fighters need help of their own 

The city's biggest charity dinner is choking.

As of last week, the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry Campaign had amassed just $10,000 in donations to carry it through the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which last year fed 45,000 needy people.

Typically, the campaign's bank account holds at least double that dollar amount at this time of year, says Feed the Hungry Co-Director Afemo Omilami, Williams' son-in-law.

Because of the shortage in donations, which Omilami attributes partly to Williams' 2000 death and partly to the economy's current state, Feed the Hungry laid off six of its 10 staffers earlier this summer.

"The people who give to us and sponsor us deal with us in certain seasons," Omilami says, "not knowing that we operate all year round."

Omilami points out that in addition to the holiday dinners, which are also hosted on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and Easter, Feed the Hungry provides thousands of meals to poor families year round -- and has even dished out grants to 150 families to stop their evictions.

"We're just asking for help from all those who usually save it for Thanksgiving or Christmas," Omilami says. "We need groups of supporters to come help us now."

To donate to the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry Campaign, call 404-755-3353.

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