Community food distribution helps families struggling during holidays

PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) – It’s the season for gathering and feasting, but some families struggle to put food on the table.

The US Department of Labor reports that inflation is currently over 7%. That’s even more of a concern because you’ll have to feed your extra mouth during the holiday season.

Rachel Smoker, Food Stamp Volunteer, said:

So local organizations like the Trinity Lutheran Church are trying to ease the burden.

“We received about 20,00 pounds of food from various organizations,” said Sarah Lisalvato, food pantry coordinator.

On Thursday, people in need of food rushed in and volunteers handed out food bags and boxes to families.

“We started handing out a little before 10am this morning just to start the process, but people were lining up around 4am this morning. It tells the story,” said Lisalvato.

A little help with food goes a long way.

“250 turkeys (and) 250 hams are enough today for hundreds of families coming and going,” Smoker says.

They plan to provide about 500 bags and boxes of food to families in need.

“That’s how dire the current situation is in our community,” Smoker said.

Bags and boxes are packed with daily necessities such as bread, meat and produce.

“It’s just a little bit of hope and something people should have, because everything is so expensive,” Risalvato said.

The people who run the drive-thru pantries say this is just a small part of the communities they support and many still need it.

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