Mississippi Food Bank making a difference

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - From the unstable stock market to the loss of thousands of jobs, the economic downturn is affecting everyone.

For volunteers at the Emergency Food Bank in Olive Branch, business has never been more brisk.  Tuesday, Organizers Sally Jones said they will exceed the number of people served last year.

"In 2007 for the year we served 609 families," Jones said. "Then this year, just through September we have served 491. so you see the increase of the number of people that we serve, and this is families."

The charity's primarily focus has been senior citizens on fixed incomes, but recently the need shifted to younger people and families struggling to make ends meet.

"People who have been working and had jobs, and now they've lost those jobs and they need help," Jones said.

Tuesday, Pam Parker visited to get a few groceries. Parker was grateful to have a resource like the Emergency Food Bank.

"I feel fortunate enough to live in a country where I have this opportunity to come somewhere to get me something to eat where I don't go hungry," she said.

For volunteers like Scott Larsen, its about making a difference.

"If you would volunteer you will make a difference, there's no doubt. If you don't think so, show up and you'll find out," he said.

Right now, the Emergency Food Bank is only open on Tuesday's from 10am -12 noon.  Organizers hope to get more volunteers so they can open the pantry on Saturday's just in time for the holidays.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.