Families Rely On Food Pantries After Flood, Economic Downturn

Martinsville Food Pantries Report Spike In Families In Need

Food pantries in Morgan County are working overtime, trying to feed families still struggling after this summer's flood who've been hit again by the recent economic downturn.

Workers at the Martinsville-based Morgan County Food Pantry and the Red Barn Thrift Store told 6News' Ben Morriston that they've seen a spike in the number of people looking for help.

"I'd say four out of 10 families are in need. We see it every day. They'll carpool and bring four families in," said Patty Owens.

Sharon Smith knows all too well that the need for help in Morgan County is growing.

"I lost my job. Then when the flood came through here, we lost our home," she said. "Even at $9 an hour, you can't afford to pay your bills and eat. If it wasn't for this place, we'd be hungry this week."

She visits the food pantry for staples like canned foods and dry goods, a cartload that would cost close to $80 in the grocery store.

Longtime pantry volunteer Waymon Nicholson makes sure Smith and others don't leave empty handed.

"They come here to get food because there's a lot of people out of work right now. Harmon Motive closed and there's a lot of people in need of food right now," he said.

Last year, people lined up for a block outside the food pantry to get a Thanksgiving meal. Workers said they're expecting an even longer line this year.