Supply is down and demand is up for Mississippi food pantries. Some citizens are relying more heavily on charity as the recession lingers on.

" /> Mississippi Salvation Army Locations Facing a Critical Shortage of Food | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Mississippi Salvation Army Locations Facing a Critical Shortage of Food

By Daniel Cherry | Published 23 Sep 2011 05:08pm | comments

Non profit charity organizations in Mississippi are struggling to meet a growing need for help. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how Mississippi Salvation Armies are in critical need of food.

At the Salvation Army in Jackson, workers are sorting through food donations.

Times are hard right now...even for the Salvation Army.

Captain Ken Chapman is the with the Jackson Salvation Army. He says they're running so low on food because demand is up 42 percent. Now they're having to limit how much they can give each family.

"It is one of the saddest things you have to go through when you have to say to someone, 'I'm sorry. I don't have the things that you need.' When you know that they're especially in need. God has been good to us overall, and we've been pretty much able to take care of people. Maybe not the way we want to, but not turning them away."

Mississippi has the lowest food security in the nation which means many residents don't have enough access to food to support a healthy lifestyle. Residents like Debra Willoughby of Jackson who have fallen on tough times have had to rely more heavily on food banks like the Salvation Army.

"Sometimes I'm not able to pay my light bill. They've been there for me when I was in need, and they have helped me a great deal of a lot. When I couldn't go anywhere else I went there, and they helped me. I just thank God for them."

With a lingering recession, residents' unemployment benefits are running out, and now they're having to turn to charity. Mark Jones covers three states with the Salvation Army. He says times are getting hard in Mississippi because they're coupling high demand with a 27 percent decrease in donations.

"Much of it is related to the number of disasters we've had in Mississippi over the past year. The tornadoes, the floods...many lives have been turned upside down because of that. And other non-profits are having to scale back their services."

Demand is likely to get even higher through the holidays.



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