ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) –High food prices are still putting strain on families, especially as the holiday season kicks into high gear. Non-profits like the Rescue Mission of Roanoke are working hard to try and keep up.

Every Saturday morning the Manna Pantry with Rescue Mission of Roanoke donates over 300 boxes of food to those in need. Pantry Manager Pam Ferguson says high food prices are affecting everyone but are really hurting those who are under financial stress.

“Everybody is really struggling at the grocery store I mean I think we all are when we go to the grocery store, but they really struggle to make ends meet,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson says in the last 6 months the Roanoke Rescue Mission has signed up at least 20 new families each week to receive food.

Harold Young has been volunteering with the Rescue Mission for four years now, he says he has also noticed a recent increase in people needing food.

“Somedays we have 400 families coming out here,” said Young.

Ferguson says they have to be prepared for the high demand.

“We’re anywhere from 300 to 400 boxes a week, we make 400 boxes a week,” said Ferguson.

Each box weighs around 70 pounds and Rescue Mission officials say it contains enough ingredients for 5 or 6 meals. They’re filled with pantry staples like dry and canned goods, but boxes also contain perishables like meat, produce, and dairy products.
The Rescue Mission says the food is donated by community partners and collected on an ongoing basis.

“We’re out there picking up food every day of the week Monday through Friday,” Ferguson said.

Volunteers and staff with Rescue Mission say the goal is to make sure no family has to choose between buying food or paying the bills.

“It’s nice to know that they know that they have other resources and that people care,” said volunteer Antwuan Battle.