Food Banks Become ‘New Normal’ for Millions


As America’s economy flounders, the number of Americans headed to food banks is growing. 

Five years ago the nation’s largest food banks moved just under 2 billion pounds of food a year. Today they’re moving more than three billion pounds a year.  
The situation is so bad that one high school football coach opened a food pantry to feed his hungry players.
“In Oklahoma we have a high school football coach tell us that he’s having students experience broken bones because they’re malnourished,” Ross Fraser, spokesman for Feeding America, told CBN News.
“You know, you can’t have high school students in America that can’t play football because they’re not getting three square meals a day,” he said.
Even in affluent areas like Chicago’s North Shore, food pantries are on overload. Hillside Free Methodist Church in Evanston opened its own pantry in 2009 to meet the need. 
“In our first year we went from 20 families a month to 783 families,” pantry director Maiya Lueptow told CBN News.
Today Hillside helps more than 2,000 families every month. It’s a familiar story across the Chicago metro area, including in suburban DuPage County. 
Roger Schmith, founder of West Suburban Community Pantry in Woodridge, described their growth in recent years as “phenomenal.”
“We’ve gone from 750 a month to 1,200 households right now,” he said.
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Heather Sells