Hunger in the Heartland on the Rise

Hunger in the Heartland on the Rise
By: Ryan Tate
Du Quoin, IL - According to members of Heartland Food Banks and other groups helping the hungry in the area, the number of people needing assistance is going up. According to Karen Burton, the Service Coordinator for Cooperative Ministries of Paducah, there has been "an extraordinary increase in the use of its services." The organization helped 477 families and 900 individuals in January.
Meanwhile in Du Quoin, Assistant Director Mike Swayne of the Du Quoin Food Bank says a similar increase has hit Perry County.
"Probably in the last year or so, I've seen more people coming in, and the demographic has gone from elderly to the young single parent needing help," Swayne said. The Du Quoin Food Bank helped 188 families and 416 people in January. Sixty-five of those people were children.
"Basically it's the economy. There's nothing here for folks in Perry County," Swayne said. Swayne also says he has seen less assistance from the state and federal government over that last couple of years.