The number of St. Mary Parish families in need of food, hygiene products and more are on the rise. St. Mary Outreach, Inc., the main food pantry for East St. Mary Parish, has seen 373 families apply for aid in the month of November. That converts to 921 individuals who cannot afford the bare essentials.
"When you go to the grocery store, you see how much the cost of food has increased, and it's getting really hard to feed people," said Executive Director, Kay Raymond.
Brenda Liner, Assistant Director, says the need is growing daily. "We had 40 families apply Monday, 40 on Tuesday and almost 40 today. It's your single mom with a couple of kids, it's your single dads even, because they have been laid off. It's everyone."
The TV-Ten Food-Net, Food for Families food drive will be held next week on December 5th. After that date, St. Mary Outreach will not have another food drive until May of next year. Raymond said the food they have now and the food collected next week, has to last them until then.
They are asking for non-perishable can goods, meat products, and hygiene products. All food donated in the community will stay in the community to feed local families.