ENGLEWOOD, FL- The numbers indicate more are going back to work as the economy improves. However, some local food pantries say they're still helping just as many while donations are way down.
The sounds of cans hitting the shelf at Englewood Helping Hand are fewer while the calls for help continue. An elderly man looking for something simple. "I come in here just when they have the Italian bread." Working families struggling on minimum wage.
Assistance with bills such as electric, water, and rent can be found here too. "Englewood is very seasonal. The summer is rough for people. There is not as much work." Administrator Aimee Kirvin says there has been no slow down here. Out of the small building they're still feeding around 13,000 residents a year. "The economy may be improving throughout the country but for me personally here I don't see it."
Helping hand has been offering one for 30 years. Now along with other Englewood pantries struggling to help more than ever. "Unfortunately our donations have been decreasing. They have decreased by about 50% since 2009."
The reasons Kirvin says are difficult to pin point or just all too obvious. "I don't know. Maybe people just have less to give"
A small article in the Englewood Sun newspaper this past weekend perhaps helping to bring in more food then they've seen in a while here Monday. A relief to volunteers like Pam Jacobs. "It breaks my heart sometimes the things I hear but God is good and he provides."
North Port resident Jim Young is one of those who hears the call, bringing in a few bags. "If you can afford it, give anything. You don't have to bring much. Just a few cans. If everyone did that it would make a big difference."
If you would like to help donate food or money they're open Monday through Thursday off Dearborn street in Englewood.
The link here will take you to their website.