EUREKA- The Salvation Army in Eureka is struggling to keep its food pantry open this holiday season due to an increase in demand. Lt. Tim Danielson said,
"This last Monday we had to close our front pantry to non-perishable foods because we ran out of cans to put in the boxes."
Lt. Danielson and his team are trying to fill boxes that are packed with canned foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, but now they are worried the food that they have left, may not take them through the holidays.
"Our food is running out so quickly I can not keep the pantry stocked. Food boxes will probably last us until about a week and a half out from today," said Lt. Danielson.
He attributes part of the food shortage to an increase in demand. In past years typically the Salvation Army distributed around 100 boxes per month to families in need, and this year they have nearly doubled, giving out around 180 boxes each month, he said, "We are having to skimp on the boxes."
He said part of the increase is due to a large majority of food stamp cuts. In Humboldt County nearly 16 thousand people are currently on the CalFresh program, but with these recent cuts, for example, a family of four is seeing $36 less per month.
Lt. Danielson said, "At the same time the economy here is still dragging a bit so people are out of work and need food, need a place to grab something to eat."
He is worried if the food donations do not pick up soon, they would have to close the pantry and turn away families,
"The biggest scare to me is not being able to serve the people and the people who come in and not being able to give them a well-balanced box."