The high cost of living is making life miserable for many Alabama families. More and more often, they're looking to charitable organizations just to put food on the table.
That's why the Montgomery Area Food Bank is expanding. It's warehouse on the city's west side processes 12 million of pounds of food a year, but even that is not enough.
"We have had such an increase in demand lately," said the food bank's Ann Eissler.
That's what prompted a 9,000 square foot addition. When it's finished the new customer service center will look kind of like a grocery store. Compared to the existing warehouse environment, it will accommodate many more clients.
"Their dry goods, their freezer goods, their cooler goods, whatever they need, they can shop for and they will actually be able to see it," Eissler explained.
But the weakened economy isn't just affecting needy families. The food bank itself is struggling just to pay to fill up its trucks with gasoline. So how can it afford a brand new building?
"Another thing that really helped us was the food drive WSFA did for us this year," Eissler said.
Last May's WSFA 12 News Fund and Food Drive was the food bank's largest single source of private donations this year. And it's those private donations that are helping to make the new customer service center a reality. It's slated to open in a few weeks.
"This is what you get when you have a community that supports the way ours does," Eissler said.
Charitable organizations in 25 central and south Alabama counties depend on the Montgomery Area Food Bank to feed their clients who are in need.