There was a big donation Friday for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, and it's just in time.
Three years ago, the pantry at the Food Bank served about 350 families a month. Today, it serves more than 2,300 families a month - Six times the number in 2007. That is just a snapshot of what charities across the region are seeing. And the Food Bank of Indiana needs help to keep up.
Doug Knox is one of the lucky ones. He has a job. But that doesn't mean it is easy to make ends meet.
"I work for a living and trying to cover all the utilities and bills, it is difficult sometimes to stretch a budget without snapping it. Without the food bank, I would definitely be eating less," Knox said.
Knox, like thousands of others, needs help so he doesn't go hungry. This year, 150,000 people will receive food assistance from the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.
"I just think it is the economy. People out there are losing their jobs and they don't have anywhere else to turn," said Food Bank director of operations Mike Hancock.
The Food Bank distributes food to about 180 member agencies in 6 counties. In October, 680,000 pounds of food came through the food bank - three times as much during the same time last year. But that food needs to come from somewhere.
"If we don't get donations, we don't exist," Hancock said.
The food bank has seen donations increase throughout the last year, but the need has grown too. And there is always a concern that not everyone's need will be met.
"It is a battle I struggle with," said Hancock, "how do I make sure everyone is fed? What can we do at the food bank to ensure everyone has a meal? You just see the numbers increasing and increasing."
Friday, Notre Dame, St. Mary's College and Holy Cross College representatives dropped off more than 6,000 pounds of food and hundreds of dollars in donations. Proof that any donation, big, or small, is making a difference.
You can help by donating food items, personal items, or cash. According to the Food Bank, one dollar can help feed has many as 7 people.