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11/05/03 - Lindale, Smith County

Food Bank's Demand Rises 35%

More East Texans are in need of food this year. The East Texas Food Banks says demand for groceries has increased by 35% At the same time, some of their biggest corporate donors have dropped significantly. As a result, the Food Bank is getting hit from both sides here.

It's causing the bank to become more creative in food drives and finding other sources of money. But, it's also forcing some pantries to cut back on what they can offer the public.

The Powell Food Pantry in Lindale is a perfect example. They used to serve 60 families a week. Now 100 familes a week are coming asking for groceries. Pantry General Manager Ray Carden says it's forcing them to only give out food every other week. "We can't get as much from our suppliers as we have been able to get previously, plus the fact that the cost of the food has been going up that we do procure, we've had to find a way to get the supply and demand in ballance as far as our pantry is concerned."

Another problem for the Food Bank is just three weeks away. There are not enough turkeys to go around to all of the Food Pantries in East Texas. And while the East Texas Food Bank says they would like donations of turkeys, what they really need more is cash. The Food Bank says they can feed a lot more people with just two chickens than they can with a single turkey.

You can help the Food Bank by going to We have set up what we call a Virtual Food Drive. Just click on the icon on the front page and you can make a donation with your credit card.

Stephen Parr, reporting

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