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Food bank calls for help through holidays

Jim Case, branch director of Second Harvest of South Georgia in Albany, said the food bank is suffering reduced food donations through the holidays and could reach a point where those in need are going hungry. Case urges residents to take some time from planning their own holiday meals and donate food or money.

Jim Case, branch director of Second Harvest of South Georgia in Albany, said the food bank is suffering reduced food donations through the holidays and could reach a point where those in need are going hungry. Case urges residents to take some time from planning their own holiday meals and donate food or money.

ALBANY, Ga. — A major provider of free food for area needy is barely keeping pace these days, according to Jim Case, branch director of Second Harvest of South Georgia.

He believes one reason is that people are busy planning for the holidays.

"It seems ironic," Case said, "that at the time of year when many Americans are thinking of their own large family feasts, more and more citizens don't have enough food to make it through a week. If it weren't for the National Association of Letter Carriers collecting more than 80,000 pounds of food in the 10 counties we serve, We wouldn't have made it through Thanksgiving."

The food bank's Albany branch on Clark Avenue serves Dougherty and nine nearby counties. In seven of those counties, the poverty rate is 25 percent or greater, Case said.

Combined branches of Second Harvest of Southwest Georgia serve 30 counties, providing more than 14 million pounds of food each year to needy children, the elderly and low-income working families. It's all made possible by corporations, small businesses and individuals contributing food or money.

Food is distributed by a network of more than 500 south Georgia member charities. For whatever reasons, contributions are down 10-15 percent this year. Case says the need for so much food comes mostly from the down economy.

"The Cooper plant is gone," Case said. "Not just closed, but gone. Jobs are hard to come by. Some people think the obvious answer is to just find work. If you have a job today, you're fortunate. But chances are you're still struggling."

Case is no stranger to hard times, losing a leg to an accident and infection a few years back. He couldn't work and he and his wife were forced to rely upon the kindness of others.

"If it hadn't been for friends, family and church, we never could have made it," Case said. "These people aren't getting what they want. They're getting what we have and hoping it's what they need."

Case believes that some are suspicious of abuse in a system of vast warehouses and extensive distribution sources. He's constantly reassuring his donors, individual or corporate, of the need for food and the efficiency of the operation. He says 96 cents of every dollar goes toward buying or providing food for those who need it. Much of what's in the warehouse is good, nutritious and "rescued" — just on the verge of spoilage dates.

Case urges the community to donate either money or food, especially through the holidays, but also after. Even more, he suggests consideration of a food drive sponsored by small business or church groups. Boxes and set-up are provided, he said, and could make a world of difference to someone in a difficult situation. To donate or for information on Second Harvest of South Georgia, go to www.feedingsga.org.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

Well sorry but me and FryarTuk have already contributed our can of green beans for the season.

What's your process of determining "those who need it"? As opposed to "those who want it because they're too lazy to work for it"? A serious question because I'm truly interested to understand the process you use. Thanks.

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whattheheck 1 year, 10 months ago

Ruby, with economy in the turlet. as Bunker used to say, the CEO made close to $150,000 in 2010 so your beans in the needy box did not go to waste. There is money to be made on "poverty" so it is necessary that things continue, you understand the dynamics in play here?

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chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Sorry, my purse is closed this year as I have stated earlier. Let Obama take care of you. I am sure that I am not the only person thinking that. It is the Republicans who give to the needy, Albany is living proof of that. Mitt gives $4 million a year in contributions, bet he rethinks whom he gives it to. I know the Humane Society will be glad.

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whattheheck 1 year, 10 months ago

Bah Humbug comes to mind these days. With 46,700,000 on food stamps in June, and of course more since, I am beginning, cough cough, to think that as we feed the "needy", we are feeding the "greedy"-.

We have turned being "needy" into a profession, one that is well practiced in Albany these days. I don't know what recipients here would say, but in England 44% of those surveyed said they had no intention of ever getting off social welfare. If that many will openly say such, the "real" number is perhaps even double. While others eat and sleep, we work to make all things possible.

As the saying goes, "I feel for you but I just can't reach you". After all, I give generously at the office as one of the many payroll deductions. You will just have to work it out among yourselves. Sorry Virginia, Santa is on strike for a voluntary contribution this year--and hereafter. .

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ZCorp 1 year, 10 months ago

Okay, First off , I left a comment in the earlier story, to donate for Thanksgiving.Looks lke I was 100 % right ! I asked what would happen if the food ran out or the donations stopped, cause people only "Take". Now, what if we hit an (Economic Depression by 2016 ) ? Food Banks will not exist or offer very little. What if " Welfare was not offered no more ? or assistance to charity was not offered, canceled due to Insane demand ?......Peope need to Re-Educate themselves, get back to work, off welfare or just getting by, Use what God gave you, your Brains become Succesful in Life ! Become Independent for their lives & the lives of loved ones. America cannot substain this much longer, or you will see much more selves empty. Good Day.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

Youi will get an education yourself if you just go watch and see who buys with food stamps, what they wear, and what they rolled up in .

And if you think you're getting "educated" by reading the NY Times, well you're only part right. What's really happening is you are getting indoctrinated into the Progressive Left Media Mindset. Education? More like Stalin's "re-education".

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dingleberry 1 year, 10 months ago

Perhaps I am reading it wrong but the article from the New York Times at the link leads one to believe the average payment is $130 per family when according to fns.usda.gov the amount is $130 per person. So, if the family unit is four, $520 per month ain't too shabby . Perhaps this larger amount explains why those I see shopping and paying with EBTs, and their receipts found on the ground, show heavy concentrations of things that don't have to be cooked--a shortage of iron chefs getting SNAP.

The USDA site also shows a number of other Federal programs providing food in addition to SNAP. I feel better analyzing data from the USDA site rather than letting the Times do it for me.

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km90401 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a free country so spew hate if you like. But really, if you don't want to give, just don't. There are others who will cover for you: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/entertainment/nypd-cop-s-story-might-just-restore-your-faith-humanity-video

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