NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new jobs report released Friday showed more Americans are finding work.

However, volunteers at an Upper Manhattan food pantry said demand remains at an all-time high, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.

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People started arriving at 6 a.m. The line wrapped around the block.

Volunteers for Catholic Charities gave away hundreds of boxes of groceries to help families at the Church of Rosa Lima in Washington Heights.

Many people waiting told CBS2 the food will help them stretch their unemployment checks while they continue looking for work.

“It’s a blessing because sometimes we really need the food,” said daughter Patricia, translating for her mother Cecilia, who asked to keep their last name private.


Both of Patricia’s parents were laid-off during the coronavirus pandemic.

“My mom used to work in restaurants and my dad used to work in construction,” said Patricia.

Her parents were not rehired.

“It was just really hard for us… so much bills to pay and everything. So, food, it was really a help for us,” she said.

Patricia’s dad just found a new job with an e-bike company, but the family still has to make up for months of lost bills.

Many waiting at the food pantry had similar stories.

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“In some of these communities, the jobs that they had were, what you might consider, at the lowest tier. These are the jobs that are the hardest to replace. They’re the first ones to be let go, the last ones to be rehired,” said Richard Espinal, associate director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “The reality is, they also have a lot of catching up to do.”

Friday morning’s U.S. jobs report showed unemployment dropped to 8.4 percent last month, from 10.2 percent in July.

But, job growth slowed in August, with 1.4 million jobs added, compared 1.7 million in July.

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There are businesses, like Domino’s Pizza in Freeport, looking for workers.

“We are definitely trying to keep staffing up. We’re hiring,” said John Hall, a Domino’s franchisee.

TrueBlue, a job placement company, said there’s been a boost in postings for all kinds of jobs, from merchandise stockers to computer support specialists to registered nurses.

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Volunteers at the food pantry said they’re hopeful, but believe it will take a long time for people to get back on their feet.

“I know a lot of people that were waiting. They were furloughed. And now, they just told them that they’re not having a job. They’re closed for whatever reason, and they don’t have a way,” said Xiomara Carvajal.

Each family at the food pantry receives a box of dry goods, vegetables and milk. Volunteers said they ran out of groceries on Thursday because the demand is so high.

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