Food pantries see increased demand during holiday season

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EAU CLAIRE, WIS. (WEAU) -- Tis the season for lots of food in kitchen cupboards. Canned, boxed, and bags, too.

But this time of year, with so many expenses, even the basics are sometimes hard to come by.

"Before a lot of it was the unemployed but now it's expanded far beyond that," said Sherry Hebert, the coordinator for the Trinity Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Eau Claire.

She says it is their busiest time of year. On Tuesday about 105 people visited the pantry. Last October, she says more than 750 families visited. And unlike years past, they are feeding a new type of customer.

"We have a lot of the working poor," she said.

The people who she says are working part-time but just not making ends meet. And they are coming from surrounding communities, too.

When families come in, they register their name and address. Income is not required. The food comes from "Feed My People" food bank and some from Kwik Trip.

People are allowed one of each item, twice monthly with some exceptions for unlimited bread and fruit.

And when you are here for hours each week like Sherry, you hear real stories from real people, like a family she met today.

"They had nothing in their refrigerator and so they were very appreciative there was a pantry open for them," she added.

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