Loaves and Fishes sees big increase in the need to feed families - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Loaves and Fishes sees big increase in the need to feed families

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A perfect storm coming at the wrong time for those who serve the poor in our community.

As of July 1st many people will lose their unemployment benefits. At the same time North Carolina has started using a new computer system which has delayed food stamps coming from the Department of Social Services.

These two things are creating a massive tidal wave at local food pantries.

At the 19 food pantries in Mecklenburg County served by Loaves and Fishes, the need is great.

"In 25 years we've never turned anyone away for lack of food and I have to believe that miracle will continue," said Beverly Howard, the Loaves and Fishes Executive Director.

She tells WBTV that the Department of Social Services sent 900 people their way for assistance in February. In May that number increased to 23-hundred people.

"DSS tells us the problem they're having with the system for food stamps won't be fixed until November so we just don't know how high those numbers will go," Howard said.

Mecklenburg County did add more staff to help minimize the delays. To learn more about the county's efforts, click here.

Still, many more families will have to turn to pantries like the one we visited on Park Road to fill the gap.

Loaves and Fishes is hopeful people in the community will make a donation of food, or money, to help them continue to serve the community.

To learn more about holding a food drive in your community or at your church, click here.

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