Empty Shelves at Del. Food Mission

High poverty rate has more and more people seeking food from missions

The State of Delaware' poverty rate is near its highest level in decades and the need for food to feed the hungry is higher than normal.

In Wilmington, the Sunday Breakfast Mission, which has operated since 1893, is having trouble keeping their refrigerators stocked, according to Delaware Online.

The mission is run by president and CEO Rev. Thomas Laymon, who is struggling to come up with food to feed the record number of people coming through the door.

“We don’t’ know where the next food is going to come from or how we are going to fill our shelves,” Laymon told NBC Philadelphia.

They had to temporarily stop doing food boxes because they didn't have enough canned goods and food staples, Laymon said.

Since the previous year, the amount of people the mission feeds has increased by 50 percent.

Mission residents have also increased. In the past year, the  number of overnight guests has risen from 141 to 204 reports Delaware Online. They also note that the women-and-family shelter, which opened in March, is already at half of the maximum capacity.

Delaware residents are not the only Americans facing this concern. U.S. census data shows a record-high 46.2-million Americans living in poverty.

That’s not the only issue either -- food donations are seeing a significant decrease.

The nonprofit Food Bank of Delaware is trying for every possible grant to help feed those in need, President and CEO Patricia Beebe told Delaware Online. 

Food donations at the bank fell from 8.3 million pounds in 2010 to 5 million pounds in 2011.

Laymon also stresses the need for baby food and diapers, saying “we’re bursting out with babies and children.”

They are depending more on smaller donations and you can help. Visit the Sunday Breakfast Mission website to find out how you can make a donation.

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