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Area food banks asking for help to make sure no one goes hungry

MIAMI VALLEY — Nearly 1.4 million Ohioans are facing hunger, nearly 400,000 children, according to Feeding America.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: House of Bread holding free dinner for children in need of hot meal

Today is National Food Bank Day and local organizations are working to make sure no one goes hungry every day.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spoke with local organizations about the increase in demand they are seeing.

Melodee Bennett, Executive Director for the House of Bread, said as the years go on, she finds the organization serving more and more families.

She says she is seeing a lot of new faces in the building and more families coming for food.

They have a community health care worker on staff and other staff that help people find more resources within the community that they could go to.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Food pantry in Greene County expanding to deal with growing need

The Greene County Fish Food Pantry in Xenia told Robertson they are heading into their busiest time of the year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

Gail Matson, the executive director, said parents are trying to buy items to give their kids a Christmas and Thanksgiving to remember as well as everyday expenses so they have nothing left for food.

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Bennett says it’s the same thing at the House of Bread and that’s why she says they do everything they can to help families.

“We see a lot of families that come in and you know kids know when parents are struggling, they know when their parents aren’t able to provide the same level that other parents can,” she said. “Their faces light up when we have something extra or something special for them.”

Bennett also told Robertson the one thing people often forget to donate is school uniforms.

She said to try dropping them off at a local shelter rather than dropping them off at a thrift store.

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The Fish Pantry also allows people to come into their warehouses and shop around for all kinds of food.

They have coolers inside to keep meat, fruits, and vegetables fresh and a garden to plant them.

Matson told Robertson the cost of food on shelves now paired with other expenses is making it difficult for families.

“They put gas in their car, they pay their mortgage, their rent, every whatever, and then there’s nothing left,” she said. “So, they are trying their best to make ends meet. And so now, they’re coming here, especially right now they’re buying school clothes or supplies and there’s nothing left so they come here for food.”

Robertson says if anyone wants to participate in National Food Bank Day and would like to donate, they should their local food bank before they go and see what items they need the most.

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