Food bank sees small decline in need

300 to 400 people a day are using Sevier County Food Ministry for help feeding their families. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Sevierville food bank says they're seeing fewer people come for food as people head back to work for the summer.

For over 2 years, Cindi Landis has relied on food from Sevier County Food Ministry.

"It's a God sent, because there are days I don't have anything to eat, I don't know what's coming down the line for supper," said Landis. "I can make a meal on one of those potatoes."

The food ministry was giving out large sweet potatoes for extra food to go along with the bag of food designed to supplement what folks use for the week.

More than 300-400 people a day come through looking for food to eat. The ministry gives out nearly 5,000 lbs of potatoes and 1,000 cartons of twelve eggs at week.

"When we're busy we can do up to 180 bags in an hour. Which is one every 20 seconds. So someone has to fill the bags, we try to start each day with 120 ahead," said Jim Davis, Executive Director. "We've see our numbers go down a little bit, but I don't know that they'll ever go down enough to make a huge dent in our numbers. But it is encouraging that the economy maybe is getting a little bit better."

As businesses have opened for spring, more people have headed back to work. Davis says some people can't work and rely on the ministry for support.

The Sevier County Food Ministry will have a big fundraiser coming up, the third annual Food Ministry Fiesta, scheduled for Thursday, April 18 beginning at 6 p.m. at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

The Fiesta will give away a trip to Florida, a flat-screen TV and a Jim Gray print, as well as other fantastic prizes. A silent auction is planned featuring dozens of items including a scooter and tickets to a variety of shows. It should be a great event.

Tickets are $50 for one person and two people for $75. Children under 10 are $10. You get admission to the aquarium plus fantastic food and the chance to bid on silent auction items.

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