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Food Pantries Have Hard Time Keeping Up

From ChicagoTribune.com:

Spiraling gas and fuel prices along with rising food costs are behind the dwindling food donations, which are at a four-year low, officials said. Feeling the impact of these costs, the federal government and food industry—retailers, manufacturers and distributors—cannot afford to donate as much food to pantries as they once did …

The Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program, in which the federal government buys surplus food from farmers and donates it to food pantries, has been a crucial source for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

But in the last five years, the program’s budget has remained flat, and with food prices skyrocketing, the amount of aid for the depository has dropped from 13 million pounds of food in 2004 to 6 million pounds this year …

State officials reported last week that a record number of households in Illinois are receiving stamps. Nearly 1.3 million people get daily staples such as bread, eggs and milk through the program.

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