Scarce food supply, high demand at Tacoma Rescue Mission

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 7:23 PM

TACOMA  -- Food Stamp cuts paired with colder weather and the holiday season is doubling the demand, causing scarce supplies at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

With Thanksgiving weeks away, there’s only one turkey in storage.

“With the economy the way it is, a lot of folks are stretching organizations thin,” said Frank Jackson, Program Services Division Director.

On an average day, 1200 people from six different locations are fed by the Tacoma Rescue Mission. During the holidays, that number spikes to more than 3,000 each day.

“The need is just getting so big now,” said Jackson.

After being homeless for four months, Rosita McKnight is thankful for a warm meal.

“Without this place I don’t know where I would have ended up,” said McKnight.

Without the worry of starving, McKnight, 57, was able to focus on bettering her future. She plans to move into her own apartment this week.

“This was my stepping stone,” said McKnight.

Jenefer Fowler and her three young kids recently found themselves in a similar situation and are currently at the mission’s Adams Square family shelter.

“We’d probably be in our car right now. I feel very thankful,” said Fowler.

The rescue expects things to get worse. More than a million people in Washington had their Food Stamps cut by 5% this month.

The hope is to raise at least 2,000 turkeys by the end of the month, which will be enough to provide meals through the spring.

“Without the community, we couldn’t do what we do,” said Jackson.

“If you can give please give, because there are a lot of needy people in the world and we appreciate it,” said Fowler.

McKnight hopes to pay the community’s generosity forward one day by opening her own transitional home. But for now, she knows others are counting on its help.

“You never know you could be sitting here,” she said.

Aside from turkeys, the rescue mission is accepting all donations. For information on how you can help, go to https://www.rescue-mission.org/donate

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