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September 17, 2008
N. Idaho food bank running low on supplies

"We have some peas and we have some corn. We have no cereal and a little bit of tuna," Lee said. "We're out of pasta and rice, and baby food is at an all-time low."

She said a sinking economy is to blame.

"It's the working poor," she said. "They come here when they just get off work, or right before they go to work. They can't make it on $8 or $9 an hour - at least they're trying."

The number of families asking for help from the food bank jumped from 814 last year to 933 this year during the second quarter.

Last year, through Sept. 15, the food bank had distributed 346,000 pounds of food. Through the same time this year, the food bank has only been able to give out 309,000 pounds of food.

The food bank has reduced the amount a family of four or five gets to 20 pounds, down from 30 to 45 pounds.

"We haven't had it to give out," Lee said. "The demand is there, the food isn't. And we don't have the money to buy anything."