Demand up, donations down at local food banks

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- December 2, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- As Rebecca Wallace sorts through the small amount of food on the shelves at the Salvation Army, she worries if donations stay down; she won't be able to help those in need.

"We're seeing an average of 500 new never before seen families a month," said Rebecca Wallace, Development Director at the Salvation Army.

And with demand that high, there's not enough food to go around.

"We're having families come in who have never experienced layoffs and income issues that are having to come in and ask for food," said Wallace.

The Salvation Army says in order to keep the food they already have on the shelves, they've had to come here to Golden Harvest where the need is just as urgent

Barry Forde says Golden Harvest is also seeing the empty shelves which is rare for them this time of year.

"As you look around, there's a number of empty spaces and we have some real concerns if we're going to be able to feed all the people that come to our door, knock and ask for assistance," said Barry Forde, Associate Director of Golden Harvest.

Golden Harvest says while donations from government groups are up; privately, they're down more than three quarters of a million pounds of food from last year.

"We need those privately donated foods that come from other food banks and other donors in the community to sustain us,"said Forde.

For both Golden Harvest and the Salvation Army, their goal is to feed the hungry no matter what.

"At the moment, we're doing the best we can. It's kind of like putting less peanut butter on each sandwich ans spreading it thinner and that's a real concern for us because the need is real," said Forde.

And because the need is real, these banks refuse to lose hope.

"We know we're in the time of the year when people want to be generous and if they have an opportunity to do that, we believe they'll come out and help us," said Wallace.

To donate to either the Salvation Army or Golden Harvest -- you can drop non-perishables off at their locations.

Drop-Off Locations:

Salvation Army Food Pantry - 1384 Greene Street, Augusta, Ga 30901
Golden Harvest Food Bank - 3310 Commerce Drive, Augusta, Ga 30909


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