Food banks step up as more people are in need of meals

Friday, May 15, 2020
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

As thousands across the area take unemployment, many families are trying to figure out where their next meal will come from. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- As thousands across the area take unemployment, many families are trying to figure out where their next meal will come from.

Golden Harvest Food Bank is stepping up to help.

The group says they've had more people come in than they've ever seen for this long of a period of time.

This April, Golden Harvest spent seven times what they did last April on food. The forklifts are running all day to keep the warehouse stocked.

From the forklift -- to the kitchen table: these families just need a meal.

"It is putting food on the table. It’s helping grandparents who are stepping in to take care of kids," Christina Alexander said.

Alexander works with Golden Harvest, and she says there have been people through their lines that they've never seen before.

Nearly 60 percent of people coming haven't had to use a food bank in the past three months or ever.

"People are scared, and I think overwhelmingly what they feel is just uncertainty," Alexander said.

They've served about 50,000 families and have put on 55 mobile markets. But keeping stock isn't easy. Their grocery partners are overwhelmed, and their buyer is scrambling.

"Something that he could get a week ago. He can’t get anymore, so he’s got to turn and find somewhere else to get food," Alexander said.

The National Guard is helping to serve, yet they still need more financial help because this food crisis isn't going anywhere.

"We have seen the calls for food and food assistance triple in our service area," Alexander said.

After all, 93 percent of those being fed said they didn't know how to make ends meet for the next three months.

"We have started to turn from this is an emergency response to this is our long-term response," Alexander said.

Golden Harvest says despite all the community help, they still need financial donations because there's no end to the need in sight.

Golden Harvest is hosting a mobile market Saturday in Graniteville at Hickman Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It's a drive-thru and anyone in need can show up.

For more information, visit Golden Harvest's website.

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