The latest poverty statistics show why St. Mary’s is distributing more food than ever before and seeing more first-time visitors in the form of families who used to donate food, time and money to the Food Bank.

“Some people who used to donate $100 a week are now at our doorstep asking for food,” said Jerry Brown, a spokesman for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Brown estimates that St. Mary’s, which is the largest food bank in the country, had more than 1 million first-time visitors this year.

From 2008 to 2009, the amount of food given out by St. Mary’s almost doubled, jumping from 43 million pounds to 72 million pounds, Brown said.

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