MANATEE -- The Manatee County Food Bank is reaching out to the community for help as its supplies are almost depleted.
Among the first to help mobilize the community are the United Way and Publix Super Markets.
The food bank requested emergency help from United Way, which noted that the situation is worse than in 2008 when similar aid was needed.
Donations are lower than normal, and children of low-income families are not receiving breakfast and lunch meals that are provided during the school year, said Jerry Koontz, United Way president.
Organizations are being asked to donate non-perishable food and money to purchase perishable food.
We shouldnt allow hunger to exist in our community, said Ellen Campbell, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels Plus. Many of our families do not know where their next meal will be coming from.
They include hard-working families who cannot make ends meet -- parents in minimum-wage jobs and children going to bed on empty stomachs, she said. Please help us do something about this need by helping us to fill our shelves.