Hungry and Homeless in Northeast Wisconsin
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
GREEN BAY--On any given day in the Fox Valley 300 people are homeless and hundreds more go hungry. It's a statistic local shelter and food pantry leaders are hoping to change this week.
This week is recognized as national "Hunger and Homelessness awareness week" all throughout the nation.
Local food pantries and shelters are seeing record numbers of people struggling to survive.
At the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter, every bed is full. The year round shelter sleeps 75 people at a time and there's almost always a wait list.
This year, they're on pace to take in 100 more than last year
"This is probably one of the greatest increases the shelter has ever seen in its 31 year history" said executive driector of the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter, Jerome Martin.
That's why Martin says funding is stretched to the limit. They're matching donations up to 15 thousand dollars to keep up. He says the shelter is seeing more families with kids and new faces everyday because of a tough economy.
"There are less jobs available, more people competing for the jobs" said Martin.
It's a similar story at Paul's Pantry in Green Bay where long lines are nothing new.
"We'll be serving about 250 households today which is above average," said Paul's Pantry director Craig Robbins.
Robbins says their numbers are up 13 percent from this time last year.
"Everyone in the household is working but it's not enough to make ends meet," said Robbins.
To stay stocked, the pantry needs extra food, extra funds and extra volunteers.
"The food is going out as fast as it comes in," said Robbins.