ROCHESTER, Minnesota (KTTC) -- At the busiest time of year Channel One's warehouse has shelf after shelf of empty space.
Phyllis Lee says, "This gives me food that I wouldn't have."
Lee depends on Channel One to help keep food on her table. And it's not because she doesn't try to provide for herself.
In fact, for many years Lee spent her time in the classroom passing on the gift of education. But now she's living on social security which doesn't go very far.
Lee explains, "I don't know that I ever really saw myself asking for help. But I don't know that I ever saw myself not asking for help because life is kind of a teeter-totter."
Just a couple weeks from the busiest day of the year for the food shelf, donations are down and the need is up significantly, nearly 20 percent since two years ago.
Executive Director of Channel One, Inc., Jennifer Woodford says, "I believe that no child, no adult, no senior, no person with a disability, whoever it is should not have access to the food they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Any little bit that I can do, that we can do as an organization, as a community to come together and feed people in need, that's what we'll do. We'll do whatever it takes."
You've probably heard the saying "hunger doesn't know age or race" and perhaps Lee knows this better than most of us.
Lee says, "There's a lot of unexpected things that can happen and if it can happen to someone else, why on earth couldn't it happen to me?"
You don't have to have a lot to give to help those in need. This time of year even surplus from your garden is a major donation and provides locally grown nutrition to those in need.
Lee says, "They have no idea. And they may think this is going to help a kid and not realize it's going to help an old person."
Channel One says despite having so many empty shelves, they want to help and encourage the hungry to ask.
Woodford says, "If you are a family of one or a family of 10 or somewhere in between we are here to help."
The busiest day of each month is typically the first and as mentioned, we're approaching Channel One's busiest day of the year, that's August 1.
For more on how to get help, or give time or donations click here.
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