Area food banks experiencing shortages for the needy: 'It is a growing concern'

SEATTLE -- During this holiday season some food banks in the Seattle-Tacoma area are seeing a shortage of donations, while all of them are seeing more families in need.

Inside the Salvation Army Food Bank in Renton, food donations continue to arrive but the shelves are still bare.

“It’s coming in late. The food is definitely coming in, but we’re about 3 to 4 weeks behind,” said Major Kris Potter with the Salvation Army.

Food banks that count on community donations aren't getting much in right now. There’s no real explanation as to why, but the need is higher than ever.

“You can tell we’re really lacking the full capacity,” said Potter, as he points to empty shelves behind him.

Inside the warehouse, the shelves stand from floor to ceiling and normally would be full of food. However, this year several food banks, like the Salvation Army's, are seeing a shortage of donations as demand continues to grow.

“It is a growing concern that we have for the numbers of people that need food,” said Jim McFarland, with St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County.

In Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, St. Vincent de Paul is adjusting its hours to allow more people to pick up food.

“There are a lot of people working and they’re just not making enough money so they need food,” added McFarland.

That demand is climbing all the time, everywhere.

Standing in line at St. Vincent de Paul was Beth Juarez, who said she comes to the food bank twice a week.

For her, the food is everything.

“We couldn’t make it if it wasn’t for these people,” said Juarez, who lives in a home with four adults.

Every week nearly 1,000 people come through the line at St. Vincent de Paul to pick up just enough to get by.

“Some days I don’t have nothing to eat,” said Drusilla Terrebonne, who was in line waiting for her much needed food.

Terrebonne has been counting on the food bank for four years and she says it’s more than just food. She says the people help her survive.

“They’re my friends. They’ve become my family now and I wait every week just to come and see them,” added Terrebonne.

Food banks around the area say demand usually spikes around the holiday season, and they count on people’s donations, so they can try to keep up.