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Charlotte food pantry running low as demand triples

Loaves and Fishes says they're seeing 3,500 families a week and have only three weeks of groceries left on their shelves.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One Charlotte food pantry says their numbers for assistance have tripled since the coronavirus pandemic began - but now they are running low on groceries.

Loaves and Fishes has seen 3,500 families line up at their mobile food pantries every week, according to the organization.

They are used to feeding about a thousand families a week under normal circumstances.

On Thursday, there was a line full of cars, full of families, with so many children, wrapped around the back of a west Charlotte church.

"Alright let's move," said volunteer Shelbra Booth as the first car drove up.

"People have run into food insecurities who have never had to experience a food pantry," she said.

Hard financial times and unemployment have hit the state and Mecklenburg County hard due to the Coronavirus.

"Oh, it's been tough," said Beverly Weldy, 79.

She is retired, and is taking care of her young great grandson.

"Trying to figure out who to pay and who not to pay and to juggle it and to still have food there for him because now he's home during the day," Weldy said.

She was one of 180 families who were served on Thursday alone.

"My heart aches every time I think about the fact that we're in this position," Booth said.

Loaves and Fishes has already spent $300,000 to buy food in 2020, according to Marketing Director Sue Bruce. She said that amount is more than their entire annual budget.

The pantry has food for about the next three weeks, the Bruce added. Donations have slowed, but the demand remains high.

"We're seeing a potential shortage," Bruce said.

The organization expects to see a need for several months ahead, as they anticipate it will take the community quite some time to get back on their feet.

You can donate to Loaves and Fishes through an online portal or by texting HUNGERACTION to 44321.

If you are in need of food and groceries, you can visit https://loavesandfishes.org/get-help

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