Wed., November 24, 2010 4:24pm (EST)

Food Banks Meet Higher Demand
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Atlanta's First Presbyterian Church food pantry has been feeding more families this year.  (photo by Melissa Stiers)
Atlanta's First Presbyterian Church food pantry has been feeding more families this year. (photo by Melissa Stiers)
It’s a busy time for people giving out food to those in need. Many food banks and pantries across the state are experiencing the highest demand since the recession began.

Charities distributing food say they’re seeing a lot of new faces and serving more families this year.

Kathy Conley is picking up a bag of food at the First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta to feed herself and her four children. She’s been out of a nursing assistance job five months since the company she worked for went out of business. She says it’s the first time she’s had to go to the food pantry for help over the holidays.

"I had everything last holiday because I was working. I was able to have a ham turkey, big old pans of food and I cooked everything," says Conley.

Some food banks say the demand is up nearly 30 percent from last year. John Becker is with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.

"There are 125,000 people in need in the fourteen counties that we serve and we believe we are getting at most of those folks," says Becker, "not fully the amount they need but we’re doing a pretty good job of it."

Becker says people in his region have been unemployed for a long time, have tapped all their resources, and more are turning to the food bank for help.