WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- The Southern Maryland Food Bank was forced to cancel its normal Monday distribution to more than 30 churches and other non-profits because demand has badly outstripped supply in 2014.
The food bank came up at least 8,000 lbs short of the 12,000 to 15,000 pounds it needs to make its weekly distribution, according to Director Brenda DiCarlo.
DiCarlo says it is the earliest point in the year the food bank has fallen short during her career. "I'm scared to death we won't be able to serve our members this summer," she said.
The food bank's troubles began with a sharp drop off in the holiday season giving that typically carries the bank well into the following year. "We came up 80,000 pounds short," Di Carlo said.
DiCarlo blames three economic factors that still have a stranglehold on Southern Maryland counties. Those include high fuel prices, rising utility rates, and continuing fallout from the mortgage crisis.
Balloon mortgages have been particularly difficult on familes who are struggling to hang on in homes they can no longer afford, and cannot refinance.
DiCarlo explained Southern Maryland is seeing more families than ever with two income earners under pressure to keep gas in the car so they can stay in commuter jobs that don't pay all the bills. Food pantries in the region often see people with family incomes between $40,000 and $60,000, but it is still not enough to adequately feed everyone in the household, DiCarlo said.