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New demographic at local food pantries

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Amarillo, Texas - Although the economy is rising, not everyone in our area has been feeling it's effects. There is now a new clientele at area food banks.

They are being labeled the "working poor," those people who have a stable job but no longer can make ends meet and put a meal on the table for their family.

Last year the High Plains Food Bank served 9,000 families a month. What they say is their second largest increase.

"I don't know if we expected it. The economy and some of those figures are looking good, so I think that was not something we were expecting," Broc Carter, High Plains Food Bank says.

Carter says there are many new faces that are now needing help. Those new clients don't fit the usual mold.

"I am working. I just can't put food on the table, or food prices have gone up and I can't feed my family. And so, they are being labeled the "working poor." We are hearing a lot of that here and then our agencies are saying the same thing," Carter says.

Corner Stone Outreach tell us, last Friday they served close to 300 families, which is at a high for them. They attributed it to those "working poor" families.

Bethesda Outreach Center is also helping out the "working poor."

"We've seen a little bit of an increase in working families, a little bit of an increase in our elderly population coming out," Royce Gooch, Pastor of Ministries for Bethesda Outreach Center says.

They also say families just can't seem to make it by these days.

"Jobs are a little harder to find, and so that effects that working class family. Costs of groceries and cost of fuel are up, and so that effects everybody. So, we see a little bit of those kinds of things effecting what we do," Gooch says.

Local food pantries are available as a resource to anyone who needs help regardless if you are working or not.