High Need During Low Times

By: Brian Johnson
By: Brian Johnson

The Volunteers of America is seeing a huge increase in the number of people without food. During the last three months of 2012 the VOA provided almost 6,500 more meals than during the same time in 2011.

"We are up 24 percent for the quarter that just ended in December and that's a lot of meals. You know we served 114,000 last year," said Patrick Patterson the Executive Vice President.

It's especially alarming because the end of the year and holidays are typically a time when people help others the most. The meals cost $2.83 a piece, and that can add up fast.

"We are really struggling hard to make sure that we get the food donations in," said Patterson.

The VOA helped more than 2,600 homeless people in 2012.

Patterson says the low wage earner has yet to see any economic recovery. The new year means lots of snow and temperatures dropping below the teens. That will increase the number of people who need a warm place to stay and a hot meal to eat.

"The homeless person can't turn up the thermostat, add another blanket or you know, keep the wind from blowing on them," said Patterson.

The Volunteers of America offers far more than just a roof and a meal.

"They have a medical bus that comes out front," said Lakeya Jackson a woman who volunteers and receives assistance at the shelter. "It just helps the homeless give them cough medicine, you have a lot of diabetics and different kinds of people,"

The VOA has ten different programs, including the New Hope Day Center and Employment and Vet Training.

"If they didn't have the voa i don't know where people would go," said Jackson.

If you'd like to help the VOA, visit http://www.voami.org/Give-a-Gift

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