As the economy continues to struggle, food banks across the state are seeing an increasing demand from middle-class families. It’s a two-pronged problem, says Kate Maehr, chief executive of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. More middle-class families are turning to food banks, and because the price of food has gradually risen, federal funds just don’t purchase as much as they used too.
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“There’s $250 million in this country that’s allocated to this program,” Maehr said. “Two-hundred-fifty million dollars buys less food today than it did a year ago.” Maehr says corporate donations are up and that’s helping, but there still isn’t enough help to go around. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says he’d like to see more federal help for food depositories and food banks. In rewriting the Farm Bill, Durbin says he hopes to at least hold the line on the $250 million annually appropriated to food depositories across the nation.