Food bank closures cause concern for Trinity Lutheran Church food bank

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Empty shelves can be seen across food banks in Bay County, and soon, some of those banks will be completely closed.

Although the shelves look full Sunday, by Wednesday, Trinity Lutheran Church's food bank will be almost completely empty. (WJHG/WECP)

The number of people in need after Hurricane Michael remains high nine months later. This is especially true for the food bank at Trinity Lutheran Church.

"Our numbers will probably double in size, we're already seeing between 11 and 1300 a week, which now we will probably see, now, between 2000/3000 a week, that's going to make it very difficult because we're already struggling at the numbers that we're at," said Director of the Trinity Lutheran Church Food Bank Tammy Wilson.

Certain area food banks will be closing Friday, leaving Trinity with more mouths to feed than food available.

"On Tuesday's we pack bags to give out, and we pack everything as far as breads, or pastries, or something that's been donated that way, and usually by about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, we're back here making even more bags," said Wilson.

Wilson said each Wednesday brings more people in need.

"We're seeing about 25 to 30 percent each week, of our numbers, as new people that we've never seen before. Once these other food banks close and we're one of the only ones, especially serving all the counties, that number is going to increase to probably 40/50 percent each week," said Wilson.

Nine months out, donations are slim.

"It's getting harder and harder to get the donations to come in so that we can get them out to our community," said Wilson.

Wilson has been left concerned for what the coming months hold.

"That's my worst fear, is that we run out to where we are having to turn people away," said Wilson.

She said she's going to serve the community in any way she can.

"As long as we're here, we're going to be handing out food," said Wilson.

She said she wants to spread the word that people in Bay County still need help.

"We need to put it back in their memories that we're not okay, we still have a need, so let's do this together, and even if you can't do it with money or food, do it with your voice," said Wilson.

Trinity Lutheran Church's food bank is located at 1001 W 11th Street in Panama City.

Donations needed include:
-Pasta Sauce
-Canned Meats
-Canned Veggies/Fruits
-Shelf Milk
-Snack foods for children
-Baby Products
-Reusable bags for food

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