Food Pantries Struggle To Feed Local Families
CHARLOTTE, NC- As more families struggle to make ends meet, local food pantries strain to feed those who need it the most.
800 meals are served each week at the Union County Community Shelter, but with more families filling up tables, food is running out.
"Our soup kitchen is seeing an increase of over 35 percent in the last few months," said Kathy Bragg, executive director of the Union Country Community Shelter.
The sheler's food pantry and soup kitchen has turned to Facebook and local churches for food donations.
"Grocery bills are just over the top and they're running out of money before the end of the month," said Bragg.
At Pilgrim's Inn in Rock Hill, the shelves are stocked. But the executive director says most of this food will be gone by the end of the week because the increase in families they're feeding.
"I've been here over five years and I've never seen it like this... with the amount of hungry people coming in our community," said Susan Dean, executive director of Pilgrim's Inn.
The pantry feeds four to five thousand families a month. While that number keeps growing, donations are dwindling. Dean says it's forced them to close the doors early.
There's a similar drought for pantries in Charlotte.
"In August, we set a record. We fed more people than we ever have at Loaves and Fishes. We had 12,000 people come through our doors," said Lucy Mitchell,director of development of Loaves and Fishes.
Loaves and Fishes's 18 pantries are expected to provide groceries for 125,000 people - up more than 10,000 from 2011.
"We need to raise more money to buy more groceries, we need to hold more food drives to get the food in to keep these shelves stocked behind me," said Mitchell.