Worthington Food Pantry Seeing Sharp Rise In Neighbors In Need

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We may be five years removed from the heart of the recession, but there are still a lot of people struggling to fill their shelves with food.

And, the demand is rising sharply in the most unlikely of places - wealthy suburbs.

The Worthington Resource Center & Food Pantry is set up to help people in need.

“When you're used to providing for yourself, providing for your family, and all of a sudden you can't do that - it is emotional,” said Angela Purchase, Worthington resident.

The executive director, Jennifer Fralic, says the need is growing.  Fralic says the center has seen a 78% increase in demand over the past year.

Angela Purchase, like dozens of others this day, fills her cart.

“That does free up money for me to pay my electric bill, pay the water bill and pay the rent,” she explains. “And I'm blessed that these things are here, because I don't know how we would survive without them.”

Purchase says she used to have a job as a social worker but had to quit and move, when her husband got sick.

“I always say you never know what side of the desk you're going to be sitting on,” Purchase says.

She's been shopping at the pantry for over a year now, whereas Steve Sandaluk tells 10TV he just made his first trip down the food pantry aisles after being let go from his job.

“And it's just not for those who are down and out, like myself, but also for those who are just struggling to make ends meet,” said Sandaluk.

Sandaluk says he's searching for a job, much like Angela Purchase. They are neighbors, both struggling to stay afloat.

“Here we are in Worthington, and poverty is all around. It's not just located in certain parts of our city. It's everywhere and that's one thing I'm thankful for, is that we have this resource here,” said Sandaluk.

Purchase says she hopes to be back on her feet in the next few months.

Worthington's food pantry says that although the need is increasing, the amount of supplies on the shelves is staying steady. So, they're always in need of cash and food donations.