Syracuse, N.Y. - The economy is not only hurting families, it's also hurting food banks and pantries.
That can be troublesome, when you factor in that now is the time hurting families need food banks the most.
The Food Bank of Central New York reports a 12 percent increase in people seeking food assistance.
But, local pantries don't have to worry about running out of food.
"One of the things across the nation is you're seeing a lot of empty pantries, you're not seeing that here," says Beth Slater, from the Food Bank of Central New York.
That's because the federal government is stepping in through the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
Under this program, economic stimulus money can be designated for food banks and pantries.
The Food Bank of Central New York just received a shipment with 350,000 pounds of food.
That is roughly 275,000 meals worth of food. And, it is going to local pantries such as Catholic Charities and P.E.A.C.E., Inc.
Instead of turning away people, these pantries can serve them in their time of need.
"That's what kept me and my wife on my feet," says John Whittaker of Syracuse.
And, it's what kept food in their mouths.
NCC News' Mike Krafcik reports on local food pantries: