PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — This Sunday, 1010 WINS co-sponsored the Action against Hunger Food Drive in northern New Jersey, as the largest food pantry in Paterson was struggling to fill its shelves.

As 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports, the CUMAC/ECHO food pantry was practically empty during a recent visit.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“Sixteen boxes of toasted wheat puffs, and next to it, four or five boxes of Frito Lay. We have some Pepsi,” said the Rev. Patricia Bruger, who runs CUMAC/ECHO and said what remained at the pantry was hardly enough to sustain a family.

Several other boxes were lying empty, in hopes that the food drive would fill them up.

“We started saving some banana boxes from produce and things we’ve had,” she said.

But the walk-in freezer was also empty, and families had no choice but to pick up packages without meat, milk or even peanut butter.

“It’s painful. It’s not something we like to do. We don’t want to tell anybody, ‘I don’t have something to feed your children or to feed you,’” Bruger said.

But with rising food costs, she said the dollar is stretching thinner, and as a result, there is less food to feed the hungry.

“People don’t realize that we’re in the middle of a storm,” she said. “It’s a very prolonged storm, and it’s the economy.”

Do you think people are doing enough to help the hungry? Leave your comments below…

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