Need for Food Up, Donations Down

FRESNO, Calif. Bundled against the cold-- many stood in line at the Fellowship Baptist Church in West Fresno waiting to take home a box filled with food. Donnta Cole says this means he and his seven children will have a holiday meal. He said, "It's hard times, thru hard times extra measures. That's what I'm trying to do, helping my family eat."

Volunteers here will pass out nearly 380 boxes containing things like chicken potatoes and stuffing-- those staples come from the Community Food Bank.

Dana Wilkie says this year they've helped families who have never imagined they would need it.

Wilkie said, "Everybody's funding is down demand is up. That puts more pressure on us to get the food they need."

In fact, Wilkie says there were so many requests for food boxes they could not fill them all.

Last year the food bank gave away 72 hundred boxes-- this year they gave 20 thousand-- however they had 40 thousand requests.

"We couldn't feed everybody who needed us, but 20 thousand families is a lot we're really proud of that," said Wilkie.

Thanks to the food bank the Poverello House will feed many families this Christmas, but toy and monetary donations here are unusually low.

Kathryn Weakland said, "For this month we are down by half especially since December is our biggest month."

And the needs never end.

Wilkie said, "When we get back from the holiday break there will still be 90 thousand people a week who need us."

Those in need say they are grateful.

"It's a helping hand it helps," said Cole.

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