Food Pantries Strapped By High Demand, Low Donations

BURBANK (CBS) — Food pantries are places of last resort for many people down on their luck, trying to survive in this economy. But the L.A. Regional Food Bank reports that many of the agencies that provide free food for those in need are in need themselves.

This is the third month in a row that Elizabeth Mooney, her boyfriend, Alan, and their 1-year-old daughter, Dixie, have needed assistance.

But today was a better day than when they walked in here in August. Back then they were homeless.

“No food at all, no money, nothing. Actually, I think we had three diapers,” Elizabeth Mooney said.

In this tough economy, assistance centers like BTAC are seeing more and more families like Elizabeth’s.

“The numbers really have probably tripled in the last two years,” said Barbara Howell, the Executive Director of BTAC.

With donations down 20 percent in the area, Howell has to pass on the cuts to those in need. No more canned food for the homeless and ten fewer cans of food for each family.

“If we maintained giving out food at the same level, then we would have had to turn people away,” Howell said.

But empty shelves are not the only problem for food banks.

This year the federal government cut funding to its Emergency Food Shelter Program, which meant a reduction in funding for many places. BTAC received no funding at all.

“It was about $40,000,” Howell said about the money that was used to provide temporary housing for families in transition and buy supplemental supplies, like diapers, formula and canned meat. Those are the things that pantries all over need the most.

But families like Elizabeth’s are just appreciative for what they are given.

“I’m just extremely thankful for this place and places like this because without them, we wouldn’t have food.”

Alan has picking up jobs as a handy man and the three have now rented a new home. As appreciative as they are for BTAC’s help, they hope they do not have to ever come back.

For more information on how to donate to local food banks, visit the following websites:

  • Argonaut Trainee

    I would hope the 1% has some money they can scrounge up. I an part of the 53% and I am practically living paycheck to paycheck. I actually want to give but I can’t until the end of the month. Sure hope the privileged are willing to crack their wallets a centimeter to give up a few pence.

  • TRUamerican

    Time to shell out for your food like everyone else. How can they afford to eat at McDonald’s? How can they afford the gas to get to the food banks? No one pays for my food. When I go hungry, no one cares about me. My friends don’t help me. So I suggest the Armenicans pay for their food. They can afford brand new BMW’s. Most of these people do not REALLY need the help. They take the food because it is there and free. God to skid row or Compton. Not BURBANK. Give me a break!

    • Meg

      It is obvious that you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. Volunteer at a food bank, and then let’s have a report on your findings. I guarantee that it’d be the opposite of your comments here. You are ignorant.

  • Food Pantries Strapped By High Demand, Low Donations | Los Angeles for Me

    […] Food pantries are places of last resort for many people down on their luck, trying to survive in this economy. But the L.A. Regional Food Bank reports that many of the agencies that provide free food for those in need are in need themselves. More from:… […]

  • Dweezle

    I somewhat agree with Truamerican. the reporter definitely chose the wrong people to portray as starving while the well dressed couple loaded donated groceries into a new BMW. Makes me wonder if they did not borrow the child for a handout.
    As an afterthought I wonder if the couple were not just actors…

    • Elizabeth Mooney

      No we are not actors and we were in a kia spectra not a BMW… and we are seriously in need of help. We are in clean clothes that were given to us (just because we are clean and in clean clothes doesn’t mean that we are not in help.) and that is really my daughter. I am so very thankful for the help that is out there and I really hope that neither one of you are ever in the position that we were in and are slowly crawling out of. I am actually in the process of trying to help support the food banks by asking people to help donate canned food and I also have donated diapers that my daughter has grown out of to give back since others have helped us. Please quit judging and start helping…because just as much as there are people who are unfortunately abusing the help, there are just as many people that actually need the help. I have a suggestion… why don’t you both actually volunteer your time and see for yourself the help that is needed. Help the other volunteers that volunteer their time to help people that are need….I promise your attitude will change. Yes, we were both in a position at one time where we had money and were comfortable and all that went away by just a minor set back that was totally unexpected and landed us homeless and in need and we had to lower our pride and ask for help. I can tell you this…it can happen to anyone. We are proof, but again, thank God for these places that were there to help us in our time of need…it’s because of this place we have food in our fridge right now and my daughter had food in her mouth tonight and I am also pregnant and was able to feed myself which also fed my unborn child!!! Hope you both have a wonderful Holiday and God Bless!

      Elizabeth Mooney

      • Dweezle

        Note that I only partially agreed with the other guy,I do understand there are not many jobs out there. But both of us seemed to see the white and blue BMW logo when the trunk was closed. I reviewed the video here and see that Indeed I was in error, and I apologize. Personally I have actually volunteered and have worked with the homeless elsewhere. My experience has been that most people needing assistance had already sold or had their cars repossessed. My comment about the actors was too brief, my intention was to imply that the writer may have used actors instead of real homeless people to prevent possible embarrassment in an already humiliating situation.. I do realize how tough it is out there. Sorry, I have little sympathy for your “unborn child” personally I feel birth control is available free of charge.through Planned Parenthood and if you cannot afford to feed one child why have another? It seems almost criminal to me.

  • sholmo

    get a f job

    • Fabiula

      You’re welcome! I think most of us neregally assume that food pantries take only non-perishables because there’s usually a proxy taking our food to them, so it has to last. Every food drive I’ve donated to requires non-perishables, so it never occurred to me that they could take fresh produce. It seems things change if they get it directly.

  • Stella

    HA!! REALLY are you kidding me . This man you see FLOYD “ALLEN ” Barnett on this clip has three children in the state of south Carolina that he does not pay for, he is a drug addict on the run and a wanted Man.. He has warrants for child support in South Carolina for being $17,817.04 behind and also wanted in Texas on NCIC.. If you see him report it to authorities Period… He is violent,and apparently thinks he can do what ever he wants and use you people there in California .. I don’t know his girlfriend and her child. But I know me and my three have suffered for more then 6 years with just me supporting them ,and I did it Alone… he doesn’t have money to feed his new girlfriend and her child because he is a crackhead. Thank you local news for the report now I know exactly where to find him…….. this is ridiculous

    • Angie M. Turbeville

      I agree… and I support this person 100%…. and it’s the absolute TRUTH.

  • Angie M. Turbeville

    This is a place that should help people that REALLY need help. Allen Barnett has several family members that help him, and him and his new girlfriend are using the system for their benefit. The sad part the girlfriend’s daughter Dixie being used in this plot as Allen daughter, which she is NOT. He has 3 children that reside in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is on the run from paying child support. He is a con man. It makes me sad for his REAL children who do without and this place is helping a wanted person……………. I see these children cry for this horrible man who pretends to be about God, This place should help good, honest people. Not WANTED people who are running from their responsibilities. It makes me wonder what the world is coming to. My friend works very hard to take care of HIS children on her own. She didn’t run. He is a coward and the more help like this these drug addicts get, the more the world becomes an awful place. And the people who really need help can’t. Drug addicts will prey on anyone. I am saddened. And if I have to fly there in person, to make this known I will. Children are not to be used or have heart aches like this. What are “WE” as a country coming to?

  • bart blair

    this man beat his wife,stole his kids toys and sold them for crack, then left them to fend for themself.he is a lier, drug addice, prosatute, theif,and dead beat dad of 3 kids. it sould not be hard to spot him sc plate on a white kia. he has no drivers license. and looks like the crack has sucked the life out of him. hes in your town messing with your people. just think you”all should know.

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