By Associated Press - Saturday, March 25, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque food bank that distributes to more than 100 agencies is struggling to meet increased demand and is asking the public to increase donations.

St. Stephen’s Food Bank executive director Kathy Hutton told The Telegraph Herald ( ) the food bank typically distributes about 116,000 pounds of food per month and saw about a 4 percent increase in food distribution in January and February.

“In my seven years, this is the lowest it’s ever been,” said Kathy Hutton, executive director of St. Stephen’s Food Bank. “It’s going out as fast as we get it in.”

Hutton said the food bank has seen rising demand as residents face sluggish wage gains, reduced work hours or trouble finding full-time, permanent work. Many people can’t pay bills and feed their families.

“We’re getting our normal donations in, and people do food drives for us, (but) it’s just constantly going out,” Hutton said. She went on to say, “Normally, we can hold about 250,000 pounds at any given time. Right now, if I had to guess, I’d say we are at about 130,000 pounds.”

The Lions Club East Dubuque Community Food Pantry is among the agencies that get items from the food bank.

“As their supplies dwindle, it affects everyone that has a small food pantry in our area,” said Dave Lechnir, the food pantry’s director.

Hutton said the food bank prefers monetary donations because it can purchase the equivalent of five meals for every $1 donated through Feed America, the nation’s primary food bank network.

The food pantry will also take any kind of food or nonfood item, such as toiletry items, paper towels, paper plates, napkins and toilet paper.


Information from: Telegraph Herald,

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