PANTRY HELP: Food Assistance Need Increases

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The demand is increasing for food assistance in the Des Moines metro.

The Salvation Army in Des Moines says it's seeing a 10-percent increase in demand over the past year.

The Salvation Army's homeless feeding program has also seen a 41-percent increase in demand, serving nearly 50,000 meals between October and the first of the month.

The Salvation Army's pantries are stocked by the Des Moines Area Religious Council.

“These numbers coincide with what we’re hearing from other organizations dealing with the hunger problem in central Iowa. For some of the families and individuals visiting our food pantries, it is a first-time experience. They have survived the recession until now but finally have to seek help. That can be a traumatic experience,” says Arvid Huisman, director of development for the Salvation Army.

Infant formula is also provided through the family services infant center. The Salvation Army says it has seen an increase of 47-percent in need from the previous year.