Food Banks running low this holiday weekend

Long Island news from Eyewitness News

November 23, 2011 1:45:20 PM PST
A growing number of families this holiday weekend are relying on food banks in our area for their Thanksgiving meal.

But the sluggish economy and fewer donations are forcing several food banks to hand out less this year.

"It breaks my heart to know that someone's out there homeless with no food," said Cindy Traenkle.

Traenkle should know. When she lost her job after 19 years, it set her onto a spiral of shame, she'd never had to ask for help.

"You don't even want to tell the truth when you're there. You just want them to help you and you run out the door. So it was very embarrassing," she said.

Cindy is lucky she finally found another job. But one of precious few.

"I have to tell you this is the worst season I've seen," said Randi Dresner who runs Island Harvest.

Island Harvest is Long island's biggest food bank which distributes to more than 500 organizations. Most are seeing something new. A trend they've never, ever seen before.

"You could fill Citi Field and Yankee Stadium and there would still be a line out the door of children who are getting food from our network," adds Dresner.

That's 110,000 children, among 300,000 people who get food from Island Harvest. Put another way, it's about one in ten people on Long Island.