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Food Hotline Hears New Voices, Some Familiar From Other End

Donna Monterio works full time as a security guard, but can't afford to pay for rent and food. (Monica Brady-Myerov/WBUR)

As the recession drags on, hunger in Massachusetts appears to be increasing sharply.

The clearinghouse for hunger assistance is the hotline operated by Project Bread. New requests for referrals to soup kitchens, food pantries or food stamps has jumped dramatically in the past year. "Good morning, Project Bread food source hotline," Eileen Terchiak answers the phone.

Lately, the Project Bread food hotline has been ringing more than Terchiak or anyone can ever remember.

Requests for referrals to food pantries and help with food stamp applications has been steadily growing. The clearinghouse for food pantries says phone calls went up 34 percent in January compared to a year ago, 67 percent in February and there were 88 percent more calls for help in March. That’s more than 4,000 calls for food assistance last month.

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This program aired on April 14, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Lisa Tobin Twitter Senior Podcast Producer
Lisa Tobin was formerly WBUR's senior podcast producer.

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