Local charities and food banks still in need

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Food banks all across the Tri-state are struggling with an already tremendous drain on their supplies.

And with Christmas and the rest of winter ahead, the need is out there. Local charities say they get a lot of donations this time of year, but they're handing things out as fast as stuff is coming in.

And though the holidays will come and go quickly, the need will still be there.

"Down here at this office (on Banks Street in Cincinnati) we just got a big contribution from St. Xavier High School and that has been huge," said Liz Carter, Director at Saint Vincent De Paul Society in Cincinnati. "And then we also had one of our churches, St. Rose, do a big collection."

Carter said gifts like that help them get by with their normal food distributions.

"We're happy right this minute we have some food on the shelves," she said.

But with 58 locations, that minute of full shelves will disappear in seconds.

"What we have right now will get us through part of January," Carter said. "So looks like a lot, it's gone in no time. As hard as everybody's been trying, it's struggling a little bit."

Carter says the "Food From The Heart" campaign scored big-time, when FOX19 and Kroger bought-out the tickets to the Bengals-Lions game, back on Dec. 16.

In order to get into the game, folks had to bring at least 10 can goods to get that free ticket but those tickets quickly ran out and St. Vincent's said folks still gave plenty of food, and that gave them the boost they really needed.

"It was absolutely phenomenal because we were so far behind," Carter said. "And we got over 40 barrels of food from that, it was just, it sort of put us back in the game."

And the best part of all that, is when you donate food at a Kroger in your neighborhood, it stays there.

"You may be actually giving that food to maybe a family whose kids go to your school," Carter said. "There's such a facade, nobody wants to admit when things are really hard."

It is hard enough to put food on the table, but when you're struggling, who has money for toys on top of that?

"Every kid has the expectation that there's gonna be something there for them...SOMETHING!" Carter said. "There's not money to go out and get a toy, they're trying to keep a roof over their head, they're trying to keep the heat on."

Carter recounted a sad story from last Christmas season.

"I remember one year we had a little girl, she asked for a bed for Christmas. She slept on the floor, she had no bed, that's what she wanted, a little 10-year-old girl," Carter said.

Whether it's a new bed or food to get people through another week, St. Vincent's recommends checking-in with your neighbors throughout this holiday season. The people who may need your help the most, may only be a few doors away.

Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.