By. Michael Johnson

Kalamazoo residents are facing more serious times when it comes to having food on the table for their families.

In May 2010, a total of 19,646 households received Food Assistance through the Kalamazoo County Department of Human Services, statistics show.

Food from Loaves and Fishes

The total number of residents who received food from non-profit organizations such as Loaves and Fishes was 37,936, with a value of $130.58 per person.

Carrie Little, 36, has used the organization’s services to eat.  “Most of the food we get comes from Loaves and Fishes and I think if we weren’t able to receive food handouts, our families can actually be hungry. It would make things a lot harder at home.”

Increase in People receiving Food Assistance

From December 2008 through May 2010 there has been a 23 percent increase in people receiving food assistance, from 30,847 to 37,936.

Seventeen-year-old Sierra Little talked about how her extended family has a lot of people in it and how they just can’t afford the money for food. “I have two brothers, my grandma, my mom and then my uncles and their kids who come and eat…that’s a lot of mouths to feed and we don’t have the money for it.”

Clerks at Loaves and Fishes said how they do see the same people returning. But of late, they said, the old faces are replaced with new families and the lines are increasing.

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