The struggling economy has impacted many families both locally and nationally. As personal needs increase, so do the needs of non-profit organizations like food pantries.
The Muskingum County Hunger Network consists of fifteen food pantries, two special needs pantries, and four hot meal programs. More and more people are turning to these programs to survive. While the organizations are glad to help those in need, they need help to meet the demands.
"When you go from in 2010 serving a little over 800,000 meals between all of us and this year it's probably going to crest over, we were at 950,000, at that was just by October, so we're going to be over a million meals this year." said Christ's Table executive director Keely Warden.
The Hunger Network buys most of it's food from Mid-Ohio Food Bank at a reduced price, but as gas prices increase, so does the cost of having the food delivered.
"We're trying to come up with ways to be more effective, how we can serve our clients better, some of the pantries are even discussing that they may meatless pantries, where you would just go to the pantry and get the staples." said Warden.
Donations are one way community members can help. Warden says the Muskingum County Hunger Network can use monetary donations to purchase food at a reduced cost, but even donating a single can of food will make an impact.