We'll celebrate Thanksgiving this week, most of us lucky enough to enjoy family, good food and good friends. But as we enter the holiday season, there are more folks than ever who won't have that chance.
The tough economy has hit us all, and that includes the local food cooperatives that help people in need. These food pantries are getting more requests from more people while at the same time getting fewer donations because of the bad economic situation.
At the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, which serves both Lawrenceville and Dacula, director Linda Freund said the number of families seeking food assistance has risen from 600 to 700 prior to August to 1,116 in October, a month that saw the co-op distribute 48,000 cans of food.
"One-fourth to one-third of who we're seeing are brand-new people who have never been to a place like this before and are coming for food," Freund said. "We're seeing many more evictions, much more homelessness (and) homeless families. The needs are growing."
Those comments are reflective of what's happening at co-ops throughout Gwinnett. But while the food pantries need help, Freund said it's not an insurmountable situation if residents can help.
"If each person in Gwinnett gave one can of food, it would be enough," she said.
That's a good thought to remember this week as we encourage readers to donate to a local food pantry.
The Gwinnett food pantries are:
· Bread of Life. Located at 990 Martins Chapel Road. Call 770-513-1007.
· Hands of Christ Duluth Cooperative Ministry. Located at 3395 Fox St., Suite 101. Call 770-623-9563 or go to www.duluthco-op.org.
· Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry. Located at 176 Church St. Call 770-339-7887 or go to www.lawrencevileco-op.org.
· Lilburn Cooperative Ministry. Located at 5329 Five Forks Trickum Road. Call 770-931-8333 or go to www.lilburncoop.org.
· Norcross Cooperative Ministry. Located at 2275 Mitchell Road. Call 770-263-8268 or go to www.norcrossco-op.org.
· North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. Located at 70 Wiley Drive in Buford. Call 770-271-9793 or go to www.northgwinnettcoop.org.
· Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. Located at 1200 Athens Highway in Grayson. Call 770-985-5229.
· The Quinn House. Located at 120 S. Perry St. Call 770-962-0470 or go to www.the quinnhouse.com.
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