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Dare to Care Demand Grows, Hunger Walk Approaches

The leaders of the Dare to Care Food Bank say this year’s hunger walk in Louisville has to be bigger than ever.

Since late 2007, Dare to Care has seen the demand for food increase 67 percent. One out of every six area families now relies on the food bank for a portion of its diet, and the hunger walk has grown to almost meet demand.

“We netted about $50,000 from the event in 2008. Last year, that had doubled to $100,000,” says
spokesman Stan Siegwald. “Our goal this year is just to improve over last year. We haven’t set a specific number yet.”

The Hunger Walk is September 18th. Given the lackluster economic recovery, the demand for food will likely continue to increase.

“We would be remiss if we didn’t plan on this being our normal for the next two or three years,” says Siegwald.

In addition to distributing more food, Dare to Care is trying to source healthier food.

“We’re reaching out to local farmers. We’re reaching out to more local sources as well as just more and more sources of healthier foods,” says Siegwald.

About 30 percent of food distributed last year was fresh produce.

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First-Time Food Bank Visitors Increase

The number of people seeking emergency food assistance in Louisville is going up.  Metro United Way reports the number of people visiting food banks has risen by thirty-percent, and the number of people seeking that kind of assistance for the first time has gone up forty-percent.

Metro United Way President Joe Tolan says they’re recruiting volunteers to expand food banks’ hours, and provide more mobile pantries.

“So they can add some more time to their pantry operations, screen more families, in effect, set more up people up to receive emergency food,” he says.

Tolan says area businesses are stepping up with ten-to-twelve member teams that will staff mobile pantries.  

He hopes to have ten such pantries set up in the coming year.

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Local News

Need for Food Aid Up 30% at Dare to Care

The ice storm not only left thousands of Louisvillians in the dark, but their refrigerators, too.  Many who lost food simply couldn’t afford to replace it, instead turning to food pantries.  Food bank warehouse Dare to Care gave out thousands of extra pounds of food.  But spokesperson Annette Ball says demand for help was already high before the storm hit.

“Not including the requests from the storm, we’ve had about a 30% increase over the past year,” says Ball.

Ball says most of that increase comes from working families.  And most are seeking food aid for the first time. Ball says requests continue to go up.

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Local News

Food Bank Visits Up 30% In Down Economy

The Louisville-based Dare to Care food bank says it’s seen a 30% increase in the number of people seeking food assistance.  Higher gas and food prices are part of what’s driving people to seek help.  And because the food bank itself has food and gas bills, development director Stan Siegwald says it’s unclear how the organization will sustain rising costs and the increasing need.  Siegwald says most of their new clients are people who have never needed food assistance before.

“What we hear are people who are facing financial times now where they can’t pay a medical bill, and go to the grocery, where they can’t pay their rent or thei mortgage or their utility, and go to the grocery.  So more and more people are having to make critical decisions about life necessities.  More today than ever before,” says Siegwald.

Siegwald says that despite the fact that most households they serve have at least one adult who works.  But the troubled economy has stretched their budgets thinner than ever.