Food pantries seeing increase in hunger crisis throughout the holiday season

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 5:13 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Food pantries across the country are seeing a larger demand, including in North Central West Virginia.

Long lines and shopping bags in hand, that’s what we’re use to seeing during the holidays, but now during the pandemic, these lines are being seen elsewhere.

Instead of bags of wanted items, these bags and boxes are filled with needed items to survive everyday life: food.

“Just in the last month we’ve been seeing an increase in new inquires asking us how do I sign up,” said the Vice President of Pantry Plus More Micah Weglinski.

Pantry Plus More has been serving through both in-school pantries and partnering with other local entities to provide perishable and nonperishable items.

They’ve seen an increase of around five new families per week over the last two months. In their monthly program, they’ve added between 50-100 new families and over 500 individuals.

“What that shows me is that there’s an increase need, people are struggling more to get by,” Weglinski said.

In a recent report, Feeding America stated that more than 80% of food banks across the country are serving more people now than they did a year ago. They’re also saying that 1 in 6 people could face hunger due to the pandemic.

“We just try to make sure they all feel welcome and that we’re here to serve the community and we’re not judging anybody, we’re just here to serve,” said Weglinski.

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