Bay area food pantry sees record number of families needing food during coronavirus pandemic

Kelly Ring | FOX 13 News

Apr 24, 2020

Source: St. Petersburg Free Clinic

Parents who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic are having a hard time making ends meet and a Bay area food pantry is coming to the rescue to feed these families. 

“We have never seen crowds like this before,” said St. Petersburg Free Clinic Director of Food Programs Shaina Bent. 

A record crowd of visitors has been picking up food at the St Petersburg Free Clinic. 

“Usually donations are enough for us to distribute,” Bent explained. “But with the increase in demand, we have seen a 72% increase in the number of people we are serving.” 

The free clinic has been distributing meals to about 700 families for the past month. “In the first two weeks of April we saw 1000 that has never before utilized our services,” Bent said. 

For Lisa Ludwig, the service has been a great benefit. “I was a nanny, so I no longer have a job right now,” Ludwig explained. “This is very helpful.” 

“Our foodbank gets close to one million pounds of food each month,” Bent said. “Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County has been extremely generous. They’ve invested in food banks throughout Pinellas County to help us purchase food.”

The program hands out meats, eggs, produce, and some non-perishable goods. 

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