Help for families with food insecurities during the holidays

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BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Many local families are struggling to make ends meet.

Food insecurity issues are even more difficult during the holidays. Some local organizations are trying to make sure no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving.

“We are right at, I want to say, four to five thousand people,” said Bay County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Melton.

For three years now, Melton has assisted the school district to put food on the tables of children and their families.

“Save them a little money so that they can put it towards Christmas,” said Melton.

The sheriff’s office started bagging food items last week. Dozens of those bags line the hallways waiting for pick-up.

The sheriff’s office does not have enough to meet all the requests. So many turn to the Salvation Army for help.

“There is more month than there is pay,” said Major Edward Binnix with the Salvation Army. “So we have people coming to us on a regular basis for food. This is one of our food boxes for three to five people.”

With local shelters shut down, Binnix said many do not know where to turn.

“There is nothing to be embarrassed about, “ said Binnix. “Everybody is struggling. We are doing a couple of hundred boxes every week. I expect that we will do three or four hundred boxes within the next coming days.”

He said anyone is welcome to come to their facilities once a day to get meals.

“We’ve got our food truck that is going out every Tuesday to feed the homeless population,” said Binnix. 

In the new year, the Salvation Army will also offer a shower trailer equipped with eight warm showers.

If you would like to know where you can receive a Thanksgiving meal or food assistance, visit the Salvation Army Panama City website or Facebook page.

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