Salvation Army runs out of food

September 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the first time in five years, The Salvation Army had to close its food pantry in Concord because it ran out of food. There is an increase in the need for assistance.

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"It's been running low all week, but we actually had to close our doors today because there just wasn't enough food to fill the boxes," says Lauri Vint from the Concord Salvation Army.

All that's left at the Concord Salvation Army are cans of spaghetti sauce, some pasta and bread. There is very little produce and no meat.

"We are running out of it faster than we can give it out anymore," says Vint.

Norma Ruiz says she relies on Concord's assistance because she cares for her daughter and works part time as a school cafeteria worker.

"And that's not enough to pay my bills, my rent, and buy food. It's kind of like a luxury, buying food now," says Ruiz.

Ruiz says things get tight toward the end of the month. When asked if she was going to go home and cook dinner, she replied, "Yeah, probably some carrots and corn. What else do we have? We sometimes get chips too."

This week The Salvation Army says it ran out of its five-day supply of food in just four days.

Last year, when things were starting to get bad, The Salvation Army of Concord says it had 260 clients. This year it has 536 -- more than double.

All of this food comes from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. It serves 178 pantries and their demand is up 30 percent from last year. It reflects the current economic health of these East Bay towns.

"Like all of the other cities, we're seeing unemployment rates increase over the last 18 months. Probably close to doubling over 18 months ago to today," says Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister.

The Salvation Army is looking forward to a shipment Thursday and they hope this one lasts the rest of the week.

If you want to help The Salvation Army or a food bank in your community, click on the links below.

LINKS:
The Salvation Army of Concord
Bay Area Food Banks

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