We do a food pantry here at St. Mark's that is part of a co-op of sorts. A lot of agencies like the Vet Center, the local Shelter for Battered Women, etc., have a pool of places to call to get "food baskets" for families of 1 or 2 (or sometimes 6.) They simply call us and we get the food bags ready and they have a social worker come and pick them up.
I have been interested over the past 6 to 8 months with the economy going bad and the price of fuel going up to see a change in uptake. When I first started at St. Mark's we maybe did one or two families a week. I am guessing we are averaging 1 or 2 families a day now, possibly more.
There seems to be an upswing at the beginning and end of the month. The end of the month makes sense, when government welfare checks and whatnot are running out. There's been a slight rise in requests for the beginning of the month. I suppse people are pooling their welfare checks and grocery bags from the pantry to make ends meet until the end of the month.
Now we seem to be getting a new upswing in the middle of the month along with the beginning and end of the month. With the price of food going up and the price of government checks being the same, then the need is greater.
I am forced to wonder if the ecomony continues to decline, if we will even notice ups and downs, or it will simply be one continuous demand.