Food banks struggling this holiday season

12/11/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Christmas Day is just two weeks away. For many people, it’s a time for parties and presents. But for others, it‘s the toughest time of the year.

And it’s the time when food banks and pantries feed more people than at any time of the year. But this year is different.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual hunger survey released last month showed that more than 35½ million people in the United States were hungry in 2006. While that number was about the same as the previous year, heads of food banks and pantries say many more people are seeking their assistance.

Operators of free food banks say they are seeing more working people needing assistance. The increased demand is outstripping supplies and forcing many pantries and food banks to cut portions.

Today in Lykes Park in downtown Tampa, thousands of soup cans were lined up along the lawn to bring attention to the thousands of people in need this holiday season.

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