JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - More people are turning to the shelves of Good Samaritan Ministries food pantry to put food on their family's table, but the meager supply is running out.
"We are in dire need of the community to help us help those who need it," said Jocelyn Lacey.
The number of people coming in is soaring because government food assistance dollars are being staggered in Tennessee starting this month.
Some families are waiting longer for money between last month and this month.
"We have seen a huge increase in the number of people coming in that are not getting their food stamps when they are used to getting them," said Lacey.
Last week the number of requests doubled from what they typically see and is on the same course again this week.
Staff members say with the increased need and the supply on hand they won't have enough food to last through the week.
Those relying on the food pantry are worried about what will happen if the supply runs out.
"I have six kids of my own," says Tabitha Gonzales "I have to use it, it's sreally hard when the kids come home look for something to eat you don't have it for them to eat."
Donna Rambo says the new schedule delayed her assistance this month.
Rambo says it's hard to make food assistance dollars last more than a month.
"We have to spend money instead of food stamps that takes away from power bills, phone, other stuff," says Rambo.
Even though the new schedule will be in place after this month, pantry workers fear the increased need will stretch out longer as families try to recover from this month.
The food pantry is most in need of staples like canned vegetables, canned fruit, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, and jelly
They will also accept monetary donations to purchase food for the pantry.
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