Today newspapers in two separate areas of Texas, the Dallas Voice and the Austin American-Statesman, published articles with a nearly identical message: demand for charitable food is up, and donations are way down.
Both are symptoms of the sagging economy, say those at the front lines. "I think [it's] indicative of the fact people have less to give because they're struggling themselves," said Capital Area Food Bank CEO David Davenport. But "people recognize there are people out there who've been hanging on for years and years now [whom] this economy's pushed over the edge."
“We’re trying to bring in more food, but it’s been a struggle just to bring in the same amount as last year,” said Andrea K. Helms, communications director for the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
The squeeze in supply & demand means less food for those who now need it, as well as pressure to lower the quality of food distributed. Said North Texas Food Bank CEO Jan Pruitt, “We are in a recession, yes...and that doesn’t mean just [that we need] more food, but more of the right food. Especially for agencies [serving vulnerable populations], the quality of the calories is very important."