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Local Food Bank Braces For Another Busy Holiday Season

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There may be hints of an economic recovery but one local food bank says it's already preparing for a busier-than-usual holiday season.

The Arlington Food Assistance Center, or AFAC, is abuzz with activity. About 30 people wait their turn in the front lobby. Next door in the small warehouse, others pack paper grocery bags with food; they're allowed 40 pounds each week.

Still, volunteers such as Connally Gilliam say this is far from as busy as it gets. "We were just commenting on how slow it was today," says Gilliam.

Right now, AFAC serves about 1,200 families a week. Executive Director Christine Lucas says last year at this time the number was about 800 a week.

"The year before that, we were serving 600 a week," Lucas says, "so we were thinking, this is as bad as it's going to get. But it's gotten worse for us."

Lucas says she's praying for an economic recovery, but she says that even if one comes soon, its not likely to make a difference for many families relying on food assistance this holiday season.

"We expect even when there is a recovery, folks will still come to us, because they've got backed up bills, because they've had to meet other expenses," Lucas says.

The Arlington Food Assistance Center gives away about 2 million pounds of food each year.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

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