Donations down, demand up at area food banks

      EUGENE, Ore. - Elli Brant relies on food stamps to make ends meet. She has been unable to work and has a child to support.

      "Especially we're feeding a child and its important to be able to have balanced nutrition instead of always eating rice and granola," Brant said.

      Both Catholic Community Services and Food for Lane County say donations are down and demand is up. Organizers cite cuts to food stamps as one driver, and they expect more people to seek assistance as they struggle to pay for heating bills from the recent cold snap.

      "Our numbers have been really down low because people haven't been able to drive," said Travis Dale with Catholic Community Services, "but we had a little more people just hanging out and wanting to come here and be warm."

      A week-long school closure due to weather didn't help families that rely on free or reduced-price school lunches, either.

      "Kids home from school all week. and they have to figure out how to feed them when they normally were getting meals at school," said Dawn Marie Woodward with Food for Lane County.

      Local residents can help replenish the food banks by taking part in the Letter Carrier Food Drive this weekend.