This is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. A time to realize there are people in Wisconsin who do go hungry.

Bob Mohelnitzky runs the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin. As a rule of thumb, he says, 10 per cent of any community in southern is having a real tough time.

Contrary to other parts of the state, he says Second Harvest has been able to keep the shelves of 374 food pantries in 16 counties fairly well stocked but the need is constant. More people are relying on the pantries for their every day needs, not just emergencies.

Mohelnitzky says, it used to be the way out of poverty and hunger was to get a job. But most people who use the food pantries do have jobs. It's just difficult to feed a family of three or four getting paid ten dollars an hour.

Mohelnitzsky says the tragedy of all this is the children. Nearly 40 per cent of people in poverty are children.

This is the time of year for food drives. People are generous during the holidays but this is the time food banks stock up for the rest of the winter and spring when there is less attention on the problem.


AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:23 MP3 )

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