Food pantries, soup kitchens busier than ever

A nationwide study released Tuesday by the Chicago-based hunger relief group Feeding America indicates a sharp uptick in the number of Americans relying on food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters for day-to-day survival, the Chicago Tribune reported today.

In Cook County, the report estimated that more than 678,000 people — including a quarter of a million children — received some form of emergency food last year.

The overall figure is a 36 percent increase compared with the findings of a similar study released in 2006.

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NCR ran a similar story at the end of last week, citing Catholic Charities figures.

"Catholic Charities USA reported that in the last quarter of 2009 member agencies around the country experienced nearly twice as many requests for assistance to meet rent or mortgage payments and utility bills."

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