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Fox Valley Hunger, Homelessness On The Rise | Appleton , Wisconsin | Post Crescent

As outreach and client tracking specialist for the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley, Chris Lashock has been busy crunching the numbers of homeless people pouring into the Appleton facility and is struggling to keep up.

“For the past several years, the Emergency Shelter has seen a dramatic increase in demand for services,” Lashock said. “Typically, the largest increase in need occurs during the summer months, beginning around May, oftentimes carrying a waiting list throughout the summer, with demand slightly declining during the winter months. However, this year, the Emergency Shelter has not seen the demand decreasing in the fall.”

As local nonprofits observe National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Emergency Shelter isn’t alone in seeing a rise in need for services.

On Tuesday, the Menasha-based St. Joseph Food Program — which serves an average of 1,000 households per week — reported a significant increase in client needs, catching officials by surprise.

Monica Clare, director of operations, said the pantry’s numbers had been fairly steady this year until they spiked in September and October.

“I don’t know why all of a sudden this is happening, but when you see that, especially the increase in new client interviews which were up 10 percent, you sit up and take notice,” she said. “The need is just constant. We are going through 10,000 pounds of food a day.”

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via Post Crescent