Food pantry in Daytona Beach running low as demand doubles



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Volusia County food pantry is struggling to keep up with the demand from those in need.

The Salvation Army in Daytona Beach told Channel 9's Deneige Broom it needs more donations and volunteers, because the number of people looking for food every day has doubled.

J.C. Deobil and her husband, Tony, have a passion for their Salvation Army food pantry in Daytona Beach. Every day, they're helping people like 86-year-old Easter Mae-Gibson, who just signed up to receive assistance on Monday.

But new records show there's twice as many people to help and not enough food to go around.

"There's only so much money to go around, so we have to rely on people also giving us donations," said Tony Deobil.

The Deobils said the number of people coming to them doubled around November, which is when the federal government cut the amount of money food stamp recipients could get each month.

For a family of four, that was a cut of about $36.

"Thirty-six for you and I might not be a lot, but for somebody who isn't getting a whole lot of money, that could be a week's worth of groceries," said Deobil.

Right now, the pantry is stocked, so someone who comes in needing food can get a bag with a lot of variety. But there have been times when the shelves were almost empty and workers could only make a bag with four cans.

Denise Kato doesn't need the help, but she sees the need in her own neighborhood so she drives people to the pantry to get food.

"Just reverse the role and just think, what if your income stops?" said Kato.

The Salvation Army is even trying to provide things people aren't allowed to buy with food stamp money, like toiletries, but those run low, too.

"We don't ever want to turn someone away," said Deobil.

The Salvation Army purchases most of the food the pantry distributes, but it also gives away food provided by the government and obtained through donations.