CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For the first time ever, St. Vincent de Paul was forced to consider turning away families from their annual Thanksgiving food distribution, according to an organization representative.
The parish planned to give away 1,100 meals on Tuesday to Tri-State residents in need, but had already exceeded that limit as of 10 a.m., two hours before the distribution was scheduled to end.
"After stretching some resources, we're now able to give away 1,200 meals, but we will probably be forced to turn people away as we reach the end of the drive," said Elysa Hamlin, Senior Communications Coordinator.
Since the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefit cuts went into effect on Nov. 1, St. Vincent de Paul has served more families than ever before at their nine neighborhood-based food pantries, said Liz Carter Executive Director. Requests for help at the West End food pantry are up 20 percent from 2012 and 2013 and continue to rise, she said.
Pantry workers say the requests aren't only increasing in the urban core but in neighborhoods across Greater Cincinnati as many families who were once considered middle-class are seeking help for the very first time.
Last year 1,250 meals were given out through St. Vincent de Paul for Thanksgiving.
After Tuesday's distribution, St. Vincent de Paul will begin preparing for Christmas.
How you can help:
Until Dec. 31, FOX19 NOW is partnering with St. Vincent de Paul and Kroger to collect donations for the annual Food From the Heart campaign. Donations can be dropped in the bins near the checkout lanes at area Kroger stores.