calendar December 15, 2009 in Social Ministry

Food pantries rise to skyrocketing demand

Across the region, the slumping economy is sending more and more people to local food banks to supplement their grocery budgets. At Shepherd’s Shelf at Christ Lutheran Church, Kulpsville, for example, more than 140 families were served in November — 15 percent of whom were first time visitors. The church gave out 850 bags of groceries valued at more than $24,000 in the month.

Pastor Lee Miller checks the shelves at the Feast of Justice Food Pantry at St. John’s in NE Philadelphia. File photo – Bob Fisher

“This year the numbers are skyrocketing,” Lois Kadel, coordinator of the program at the church, said in an article in The Reporter. “We are seeing a marked increase in the number of people coming to us for help.”

The article focused on the church’s Adopt-a-Family program with provides meals and gifts for families with children at Christmas.  This year the church will serve 180 children — twice the number from last year, the article said.

The story is repeated across the region. At the Quakertown Food Pantry, a volunteer organization staffed by community and church members, demand has been up sharply all year.

Is your congregation involved in a feeding ministry? Are you seeing a spike in demand during this economic downturn? Send your story (and photos or video) to ">Bob Fisher and we will include it in our web coverage.