More middle class families get help from food banks - WKRN News 2

More middle class families get help from Sumner County food bank


The Sumner County Food Bank is reporting record numbers of families in need of help.

Food Bank director Pastor James Gill told News 2 the influx of new clients comes as a result of cuts in food stamps and the number of people whose hours have been cut at their present jobs.

In November, for its Thanksgiving meal, the food bank distributed food to 119 clients who had never visited a food bank before.

"We started getting professionals. Sales people, secretaries. We have attorneys now," said Food Bank director Pastor James Gill, adding, "We have legal secretaries, paralegals, people in the medical field. We have nurses now."

Last month, Gill said people began lining up on Monday for the giveaway on Tuesday.

There was a food shortage and some families were turned away.

Gill told News 2 those families received boxes of food by that Friday, but it took away from what could be given out in December.

"What I'm hearing and what I'm seeing is two different scenes. I'm hearing the economy is getting so much better. I'm hearing the unemployment rate is down. I'm hearing everything is on an upward swing," Gill said. "But look at the food banks all over this country. We're not getting less people now; we're getting more people now."

Gill said those in line told him their work hours had been cut and many have gone from full-time employment to part-time.

"So in addition to their salaries being cut by a third or a half, they've lost their benefits also," Gill said.

The Sumner County food bank distributes food on the third Tuesday of each month. On December 17 people in need can pick up food for Christmas.

The ministry depends on volunteers and purchases 80% of its food from Greater Harvest.

The rest, Gill said, comes from donations.

The food bank opened five years ago, giving food to about 40 families, in December they anticipate distributing food to over 400 families.

In September, the Sumner County Food Bank moved into a new 12,000 square foot facility.

For more information, visit their Web site.

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