Food bank feeds 80 families for Hunger Awareness Day -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Food bank feeds 80 families for Hunger Awareness Day

June 5, 2007

Thomasville -- Between 20 and 30 million Americans regularly go hungry. One in four children in Georgia lives below the poverty level and suffers from hunger each month.   Those statistics might surprise you, but that's the idea behind National Hunger Awareness day.

After feeding and raising a family of nine, 79-year-old Mattie Mitchell has been through it all.  "It wasn't so easy, but we made it. And with this help we're getting from the foodbank mean a lot to us, because we're on a fixed income now," says Mitchell.

Maryline Smith started the Thomas County food bank nine years ago this month.  She says lots of their clients are people who are elderly, that are on a fixed income, "that just don't have enough money to pay their rent, utilities and buy medicine. So they can come here to supplement their food each month if they need this," says Smith.

And all sorts of people do need it from time to time as the dedicated volunteers here can tell you. In 2005, around 43% of the Nations' Food Bank's clients lived in surburban and rural areas.  "There is hunger even in Thomas county, not just in the United States, or the world," says Smith.

Lots of times it's a service just to help people make ends meet during emergencies.  "You have to stint, to make ends meet a lot of times," Mitchell comments.  And while it may be hard for some to ask for help, most who come here, leave happy.

Mitchell says, "when I go to the food bank, I come home and I tell my husband, 'I've been to the store, look what I got.' I sit out everything, I say look what they gave us. I say, isn't this a blessing?"

It's a blessing made possible only by volunteers and donations, that keep food banks like this one running all over the nation, all year long.  "I hope one day, I'll be able to give something back to them," says Mitchell.