CINCINNATI, June 2 (UPI) -- Operators of food pantries and soup kitchens in Cincinnati say they're seeing marked increases in clients seeking their services, mostly people with jobs.
The rise in the number of working poor flocking to the food shelves is being triggered by the economic downtown and by higher prices for gas and food, and in some cases, people who had previously come to the soup kitchens as donors are returning as clients, a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer said Monday.
"People are increasingly turning to food pantries and soup kitchens for help," John Young, chief executive officer of the FreestoreFoodbank in the city's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, told the newspaper. "It's little wonder, given the cost of food and the cost of fuel."
At the 43-year-old Inter Ministry food pantry in Newton, Ky., more than 2,000 people have come to the food pantry so far this year, representing an increase of more than 300 from the same period in 2007, Lindsey Ein, the food bank's executive director, said.
"We're seeing many more people than we usually do," he told the Enquirer. "Our clients generally have jobs, but aren't able to make ends meet because of the high cost of gas and food or because they have high medical expenses."