Work continues at a record pace inside the Cleveland Food Bank this holiday week. Ideastream®'s Rick Jackson reports.
The Food Bank had anticipated a sharp increase in demand this season, and now reports that its' distribution is up more than 22% this month over December a year ago.
Over the entire year, 41% more people used the Food Bank's food pantry in Cleveland than in 2008, while 28% more people have used its partner agencies' Hot Meal programs than did one year ago.
Executive Director Anne Goodman says the new numbers reflect more regional support agencies coming to the Food Bank, in need. She says they are being helped because, to this point in the season, donations have held steady.
ANNE GOODMAN: "So far we're holding our own with last year. There's a wide recognition in our community that basic needs really have to come first. I just think a lot of folks have rally said `first and foremost', we have to make sure people eat."
Through the end of the Food Bank's fiscal year in October, more than 27 million pounds of food had been distributed - an increase of six million pounds from the year before.
Goodman says with the continued increase in requests for aid, the food bank will have to do more than it has before.