As many of us gather with friends and family for a wonderful holiday season more and more people in our area are going without. More would be if not for the generosity of their community. One local food bank is trying to meet the growing need for help this Christmas.
Pam Martin stocked up for the holidays, bread, vegetables, and she's already planning her Christmas dinner, but the grocery trip didn't cost her a penny. Martin was at Eagle's Wings- Beaufort County's largest food pantry.
"It's important to have a place that when you're low on money- to have a place that you can come to and not feel intimidated and come and get the stuff you need," said Martin
The staff and volunteers here are seeing more people like Martin each month. In fact they're coming off a huge November. Last year they served about 250 families in November. This year it doubled to almost 500 families.
Executive Director Sally Love says: "20-percent of that was new families. So we're seeing a lot of new families right now, and some of that is Hurricane Irene. We still have families living in motels."
That's where many will spend the holidays.
Fortunately, Love says, many who are in a position to give, do so during the holidays.
"We're probably behind a little bit in donations, although people have stepped up this month, and usually December is good for us," said Love.
She says January, February and March are typically lean months at the pantry, so what they bring in this month will have to last long after the holiday decorations come down.
Love says they have a fair amount of canned vegetables, but could really use staples like flour or even hygiene products like toothpaste and deodorant.