by Anayeli Ruiz
BIG SPRING - Feeding a family can be hard in tough economic times, now one group that helps feed families is also feeling the pinch. In the past few months the food pantry in Big Spring has seen a jump in families asking for help. They're having a hard time stretching their dollars to provide them with food.
"I've been laying awake at night praying that there is something that will happen that the government will open their eyes realize that this is a need," Frank Sickles, Board President with Isaiah 58, said.
Frank Sickles has been praying for weeks that a miracle will help get some extra food into Isaiah 58, the local food pantry.
"We cant really go out and give everybody the food they need to get them from one month to the next month. What we try to do is make sure we give them enough to get them through the week," Sickles said.
Isaiah 58 helps people from Howard County and the surrounding areas. People who are in need can go every 30 days to get food for their families, but lately its been hard to help those in need. The food assistance program in the U.S. has been hurting and this in turn is hurting everyone locally.
"They're not getting the food to give to the food banks, so the food banks are getting a shorter supply to give to the food pantries in turn we have less to give out," Sickles said.
Now the pantry is forced to shop at Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other stores. Places that are hard to afford and this means they are spending more on groceries.
"Our normal budget would run from $300 to $400 a week. Our food budget jumped from $900 to $1,500 dollars a week because the price of the product jumped," Sickles said.
They also are seeing an increase of people walking in asking for help.
"We are seeing a lot of new families come in. In the last month, we saw 30 new families coming into Big Spring," Sickles said.
So once a few organizations in town heard about the dire need, they decided to come together and had a food drive to help feed more than 1,200 people.
"The Big Spring Herald has stepped up and with the help of the United Way. Our Wal-Mart Store here and HEB store here will put out a donation box at their exit doors so people that buy products their can donate to Isaiah 58," Sickles said.
But no matter what, Isaiah 58 plans to continue helping these families with whatever they have left.
"We will feed as many people as we can with as much as we can," Sickles said.