The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has seen a surge in both need and donations in 2009. Food Bank CEO Joyce Rothermel says 1,500 additional families have come for assistance since August 2008. While they have not turned anyone away who is eligible and in need at soup kitchens and food pantries, Rothermel is not sure if people have been receiving enough food. She has doubts because there have been more emergency calls than usual.
"Usually the volume of food that is being provided at the area pantries is sufficient to make it through the month," she says. "People in need who needed the help before find themselves in even greater need now."
For 2010, Rothermel projects similar trends for the first two quarters, with more of the working poor and unemployed coming forward for help. But by the end of 2010, she hopes to see some of the trends recede.