DETROIT, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Social service agencies in Michigan say demand for aid is up this year as the unemployed exhaust their benefits.
Gerry Brisson of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan said the group distributed 3.2 million pounds of food in July, up from 2.4 million in July 2009, the Detroit Free Press reported. United Way of Southeastern Michigan said calls to its hotline are expected to hit 400,000 or more by the end of the year.
"Until jobs come back, people will be running out of resources," Brisson said. "They have to depend more and more on emergency resources because their own resources are just not there."
Michigan, with an economy traditionally based on heavy manufacturing, has been in recession several years longer than the rest of the United States.
Sister Ann Kasparek said St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Riverview has had to limit food pantry recipients to its own neighborhood. She said the pantry typically handed out food to 12 families a week when it opened six years ago and now serves 70.
"It's really sad. People have lost work. They've lost benefits," Kasparek said. "We see professional people who can't find work. Riverview has traditionally been a pretty middle-class neighborhood. If it's affecting us, it's got to be affecting others."