Monday, December 22, 2008

Food banks experience a shortage; more families need a surplus of assistance

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 7:57 PM

click to enlarge Empty shelves at the Atlanta Community Food Bank
  • Empty shelves at the Atlanta Community Food Bank

The holidays are here, but the joys of giving, receiving, and helping others have become more of a fantasy than reality this season. As our economy’s stock market plunged and millions of people got their pink slips, the ability for people to reach out and give back has declined drastically.

Monetary and food donations are suffering most as a result of the failing economy. It’s a sad phenomenon considering this society capitalizes on draining consumers dry with every given holiday. We make money by selling dreams and gifts to accompany them. But now our life essentials are put in jeopardy.

Food banks have experienced a major drop in donations although there was an increase in the demand for service. More people understand that others need help in this crisis, but there is less in the position to do so as they usually could. One food bank in Chamblee said that last November there were only 70 families seeking assistance. This year, at the very same food bank, 896 families sought out help.

Recently, I attended the Salvation Army' annual food drive. The "Canathon," which is also sponsored by Channel 11 Alive, has a turnout that was much lower than in previous years. There was also a growth of people looking to get food help for the holidays. A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said in order to help as many people as possible they would have to give less to stretch the donations.

Many food banks have had to make that sacrifice. Where they would usually be able to help families with a large food supply, they are looking to feed more families with about one day’s meal each. For those families who are running out of food, or cannot afford a big holiday dinner, every little bit helps.

Here are some places to give donations: Atlanta Community Food Bank, Salvation Army, and Society of St. Vincent de Paul. MyFox Atlanta also got in on the discussion about feeding more with less food.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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