Food banks now feed 1 in 7 Americans - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Food banks now feed 1 in 7 Americans

(CNN) - A report out this month showed that the number of people on food stamps has reached an all time high.

One such food bank in Maryland, Manna Food Center, provides each family depending on it with 70 pounds of food every thirty days.

Volunteers prepared boxes of fresh produce, canned goods and other items to distribute to people in need.

The sluggish economy has taken a toll on families across the country.

A record 45.8 million people received food stamps from the government in May. That's one out of every seven people.

For many, food stamps alone don't meet their needs - or they don't qualify for federal help at all.

Some of the families who receive food have jobs but still struggle to feed their families.

"We've been rationing food and just scrapping by. It's just me and my sister working and right now it's kind of hard for both of us to provide for younger brothers that we have," Eric Zevallos, who receives help from the food bank, said.

That's where organizations like Manna Food Center step in. Since 2008, the number of people they have served has more than doubled.

"Any growth that the economy is feeling, the folks here at Manna are not feeling that yet. Until we see a dramatic change in the economy, we're gonna continue to see a dramatic increase in folks who are coming here," Natalie Corbin with Manna Food Center said.

The center gets food that nearing its sell-by date from 40 area grocery stores. The center also relies on food drives, state and federal emergency food grant programs and donations.

"We've had folks who come in and said, you know, I used to be a donor to Manna and now I'm standing in your line. I never thought that I would be in the position where I would have to be the one accepting help," Corbin said.

For many clients at food banks like this one, and others nationwide, what was once an emergency program has become much more.

Some worry the increased focus on cutting government spending could make it harder for these organizations to feed the hungry.

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