As demand for food goes up, donations are decreasing in Hamilton County

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By Tanae Howard

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Sept. 24, 2014)-- The face of hunger is changing in Central Indiana. FOX59 visited several food bank throughout Hamilton County and found some shelves were reasonably stocked. However, the supply dwindles weekly following food distribution days.

Over the years volunteers at White River Christian Church have noticed the face of their food recipients has changed.

"Poverty takes on many faces and there are people from income levels you'd be surprised they find themselves in difficult times financially because of medical emergencies. Financial hardships after divorce or because of loss of jobs," said Pastor Fred Knoll of White River Christian Church.

Pastor Knoll oversees community works. He says many people perceive Hamilton County as a wealthy area, but times have clearly changed.

"Most people wouldn't think there's a hunger problem in Hamilton County. What we find is there's pockets of poverty and there's great need for families who don't have the food they need to feed their families," said Pastor Knoll.

Volunteer Debbie Diaz has been working the food pantry for the past six years. She says there's been a 20% increase of those needing food every year.

"Last week we served 231 families. And when you count all the family members that is 860 people we were able to help with food," said Diaz.

Donations are typically down this time of year around August and September, at the end of summer and before holiday donors pitch in. Their message, if you have extra food or extra cash to help out, do so.

"You never know what's going on in the home next door to you. You may see them outside but you don't know what their needs are," said Diaz.

White River Christian Church is partnering with several other churches and food pantries in the area for the Bag Hunger Food Drive in Hamilton County through Grace Church in Noblesville.

For more on that event coming up, click here.