Registered: Mar 2008
Posted January 24th, 2009 07:13 PM IP
Instead of supplying clients with five to seven days of food, Salvation Army food pantry in Janesville said it only has enough to give two days worth..........
Rock County Food Pantries Struggle To Meet Demand
GM Closed Janesville Plant Month Ago
UPDATED: 4:11 pm CST January 24, 2009
JANESVILLE, Wis. -- It has been one month since the closing of the General Motors Janesville Assembly Plant and many of its nearby suppliers, and as the area deals with the economic ripple effect of the closings many organizations are already taxed.
Even before GM left Janesville, the city had the state's highest unemployment rate. The estimated ripple effect of the plant's closing could be as high as 10,000 total layoffs in Rock County, WISC-TV reported.
As the area faces economic challenges, the Salvation Army food pantry in Janesville is one organization that has seen demand increase dramatically but said donations are dropping.
"It's going to be tough and it's going to be a struggle, and we just keep calling out to the public to give as much as they can and to help," said Tami Prochazka, of the Salvation Army of Janesville.
Instead of supplying clients with five to seven days of food, Salvation Army food pantry in Janesville said it only has enough to give two days worth.
Officials said each meal is vital to each person receiving help.
"In the long run, that helps them cut down on medical expenses and maybe makes them more employable because they're healthier, and things like that. So having enough food and meals really has consequences in a lot of areas in peoples' lives," Prochazka said.
Other pantries in the area said they are also struggling to keep shelves stocked.
The Midwest Christian Church in Janesville has seen demand at its pantry more than double in the past six months.
The Second Harvest Food Bank in Madison said it's supplying 20 percent more food to Rock County pantries.
It's not just independent donations that are down. Food pantries said Businesses aren't donating as much either.
Many of the pantries usually receive surplus products from food producers, big and small. As those companies tighten budgets, there's less surplus product to donate, WISC-TV reported.
All area food pantries said they are looking for any donations, large or small, that people or businesses can contribute. They said donating a single item can help keep someone from going hungry.
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