Although unemployment is dropping and the economy appears to be improving, local food pantries and helping agencies aren’t seeing a drop in need, forcing those groups to find a way to keep up with the increase or start cutting back.
For example, the Interchurch Food Pantry is giving out more food in order to keep people fed longer and save them money for other expenses. At The Refuge in Greenwood, the number of people using the food pantry and other services tripled from 8,400 people in 2012 to 23,000 in 2013, forcing it to cut back to serving only Johnson County families. The Lord’s Locker saw the number of families visiting weekly jump from about 50 to 70 this past fall, according to director Emmalea Butler.
So the need appears to be widespread and showing no signs of abating.