Food bank sees increase in customers

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More people are turning to a Sevier County food pantry for help feeding their families than normal.

Sevier County Food Ministry is helping 400 more people than normally would be this time of year. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

Sevier County Food Ministries says they're serving 1600 bags of food a week, a level they normally don't see until the winter. Normally they'd be serving 1200 bags during this period.

"I think it's going to get a little worse as the season goes on and into November and December. Then we're not sure what we're going to do in January and February when the tourism season dies away," said Jim Davis with Sevier County Food Ministries. "We're signing up 40-50 new families a week and they're ranging in size from couples to families of 6-8 under one roof."

Sharon Jeangueunat says it helps her make it through the week when money is tight.

"I'm on Social Security now and I have health problems so I can't work any more and so this really helps me out," said Jeangueunat. "A lot of people are struggling right now because of the economy and things that are going on."

Sevier County Food Ministries says it needs to raise nearly $25,000 before the holidays so they can provide a holiday meal to the clients.

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