Donations down at national food banks

Volunteers stock food at Philabundance, a food bank in Philadelphia

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The economy is putting a strain on food banks around the country. Many of them say donations are down at a time when demand is growing.
Joel Rose has more on that.


Joel Rose: A staffer hoists boxes full of cereal and canned goods onto the scale at Philabundance, a food bank in North Philadelphia. On the other side of the scale, Florence Murray waits in line. She's picking up supplies for her church. Each week, it offers free meals and food baskets to the needy. Murray says more people than ever are showing up.

Florence Murray: Some of them are out of jobs, and some are like, maybe homeless. And they just said it's harder for them to survive now.

Philabundance vice president Martha Buccino says hunger is on the rise across the region -- even as donations to the food bank are falling.

Martha Buccino: We're down approximately 32 percent from where we were last year, we're about 40 percent down from two years ago. That's something that is very sobering.

Buccino says retailers and wholesalers who might have donated food in the past are finding ways to sell it on the secondary market. Fortunately, she says monetary donations from the public are holding steady for now.

In Philadelphia, I'm Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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