HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The shelves in the Downtown Rescue Missions food pantry are nearly empty.

As food insecurity continues to impact people throughout Madison County, the Downtown Rescue Mission is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Ashleigh Hayes of the Mission told News 19 it’s become more difficult to feed people when not enough donations are brought in. 

“This is probably the worst I have ever seen it since I’ve been here,” said Hayes. “The donations have been slipping in general. Sometimes we all forget how much people need food.” 

For decades the Mission has been the community staple that feeds the hungry – serving hundreds of individuals and families every single day.  

The donation barrels for canned food donations are empty as a result of the struggle to meet the growing demand. Hayes says that they use the food from the shelves to serve over 1,000 meals a day and provide grocery bags for needy families.  

“Even a fully stocked pantry will only be about two weeks of food. With it being this bare it’s maybe a couple of days of food. we want to pack every bag as full as we can for those that need it so we’re not going to skimp we just need the community’s help,” Hayes explained.

The Mission says that the number of people that have come in for food has gone up and they are hopeful that the food that’s remaining on the shelves is not gone by the end of the day. 

“We do what we can to provide for others even if it’s hosting a barrel at a church or a business or a school. People can come in and drop a couple of cans and fill up that barrel and then we will come and pick it up. we want to be able to assist in any way we can with getting donations,” said Hayes.

The Downtown Rescue Mission has handed out nearly 200 bags of food in the past two weeks and are pleading for donations to serve the demand.  

The Downtown Rescue Mission is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. For more information go here.