Economic Crisis Hitting Local Charities

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The number of people needing assistance in the Wichita metro area seems to be growing, according to the directors of charities providing assistance.

The United Methodist Open Door, which provides food to those in need, started noticing a jump in needs in July. Over the past 12 months, they've seen an 11% increase in overall demand from many more families.

"We had a record year in October this year. Over 3,100 families, we've seen already. And that's usually what we see at Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Deann Smith, Executive Director of United Methodist Open Door.

She says more donations are needed.

"Because there's already been so much demand this season, we're behind on what we would normally have on hand in the food pantry," Smith said.

The Overflow Shelter run by the Advocates to End Chronic Homelessness and Inter-faith Ministries is seeing more use than aid workers would like to see.

"So we have a group of people that basically in years past have helped and
tried to help with a lot of the non-profit organizations that they've
actually been the ones who've given money and given food, and this year, they find themselves in the situation where they're having to ask for help," said Sandy Swank, Director of Housing and Homeless Services at Inter-faith Ministries.

Inter-faith Ministries is predicting a 10% increase in applications for Operation Holiday.

Non-profit organizations are hoping those who have the means can dig even deeper to help those in need.

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