Food banks across Georgia met Tuesday to discuss holiday giving. They are seeing demand for canned goods and meals go up as the holidays approach. Officials say food drives often leave the pantries without a variety of items to offer.
Georgia has seven regional food banks that distribute food to pantries around the state.
Dana Craft is the executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association.
She says food drives bring in valuable donations. But she says pantries continue to need some key items, including peanut butter, cans of tuna fish and oatmeal.
And she says overall demand for food is up 10 to 15 percent right now.
“That’s on top of two sequential increases of 30 to 35 percent during the recession," she said. All of the food banks statewide increased their distribution by 30 percent or so in 2010, and again 30 to 35 percent in 2011. So demand is still going up, albeit at a slower rate.”
Craft said she expects demand will be steady as long as many Georgians remain unemployed or underemployed.