Victor Read and his young son made their way through the aisles at the Southeast FISH Food Bank off Portland Avenue in Midland, filling their cart with food.
The place was bustling. Set up like a grocery store, clients with carts walked along with a volunteer and picked up whatever they needed. Chicken and roasts were hits.
Read chose chicken.
The 20-year-old auto mechanic from Tacoma has been out of work for three months and gets a small unemployment check.
“I’ve been applying (for work) almost everywhere,” he said, adding that based on his search so far, he wasn’t optimistic.
“Maybe construction,” he said.
Fortunately, he said, his wife works, but they still need help with food.
His family isn’t alone.
Pierce County food banks are seeing additional demand for services as more families seek help during the worst economic downturn in 70 years.
Food-assistance programs operated by the state Department of Agriculture have seen a 27 percent increase in demand the past two years, state officials said.
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