Food Pantries Struggling With Less Government Help

UPDATED: Friday November 22, 2013 6:06 PM
Food pantries across Ohio say they’re seeing an increase in the demand for food, but they have to meet that demand with fewer dollars from the government.

A Logan pantry is struggling almost as much as the people who rely on it for food.

Outside Smith Chapel Food and Clothing, many of the area’s poor grabbed a hand truck and cardboard boxes to receive their monthly food ration.

The people that come there for food say that it would be really hard if the food pantry wasn’t there.

Sheila Azbel says her family lost all of its income when her husband lost his trucking job because of health problems.

“It is hard sometimes to make it. My husband had a stroke and it’s just hard, so this is helping,” she says.

The pantry says those in greatest need are young families with children.

Stephanie Dowden says that the food that she got will probably last her family a week. She has three children - ages 11, 5, and 3.

“We would not be able to do without it. We would not be able to eat without this food bank. There are not that many around here,” said Dowden.

There is high demand at this food pantry alone.

Last year, they served more than 7,000 families. This year, they plan to serve close to 9,000.

Dannie Duvol runs the food pantry.

He says four years ago, his pantry was full of donated food provided by the USDA - but not anymore.

“They’ve cut way back millions of dollars in the food program,” said Duvol.

He says now he must raise more money to pay for food to meet the growing number of people who come to his pantry.

“It’s a struggle,” says Duvol.

As for Azbel, who is attending college full-time, she hopes someday she can leave this food line behind.

“There are times when there is no food in fridge. Sometimes there are times like that and we get by. That’s all you can do,” Azbel says.

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