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East Texas food pantries see increased need, decreased donations

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:00 am | Updated: 7:52 am, Wed Sep 17, 2014.

By Richard Yeakley ryeakley@news-journal.com

A solitary jar of peanut butter sits on the shelves of the Longview Community Ministries’ Food Box food pantry.

The lack of peanut butter — a staple given out in food boxes by the ministry to more than 13,000 families each year — is a sign of the hard season felt by nonprofit organizations across East Texas.

Officials with area food pantries said Tuesday that they are feeling the squeeze as summer comes to a close, reporting they are low on food donations while high on demand.

“For us, just the demand has been tremendous,” said Donna Sharp, executive director of Longview Community Ministries. “The first week of August, we gave out more than 800 food boxes to over 1,100 families, impacting about 3,700 folks.”

Food insecurity is nothing new for the state or the area.

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