CARTHAGE, Mo. — If you’re having trouble making ends meet with the escalating cost of food, you aren’t alone.

An area ministry has seen a huge hike in the number of food-insecure residents needing help.

Like many area ministries that provide for the food insecure, Crosslines of Carthage has seen an alarmingly high jump in the number of people asking for their help.

“A year ago in March, a little over a year, the first month when I arrived here and became the director, we did 117 individuals. This last month we did 368 individuals, yes so almost, almost we’re pushing quadrupling it,” said Toni Smith, Executive Director, Crosslines of Carthage.

And if anything, she says that trend of helping families that have never needed it in the past will continue until food prices level out or finally start dropping.

“Just today alone I’ve already signed up four new families and one of those was a family of five. Mother and dad with three children. On Tuesday I signed up a family of 11. I’ll bet I have signed up at least ten new families this week alone,” said Smith.

But food isn’t the only thing the ministry provides, and the cost of those items also continues to climb.

Toni Smith, Executive Director, Crosslines of Carthage
“Sheets, towels, blankets, dishes, we can give them diapers, hygiene items, shampoo, laundry, soap, toilet paper. All of those things.”

But this facility does more than just provide food and clothing for residents in need. If a family can’t afford enough food to eat or clothes to buy, there’s a good chance that a child’s birthday gift is out of the question, but not at this ministry.

“Yeah we have a donor that comes and buys gifts for them so that they have something for their birthday,” said Cathy Larimer, Crosslines Assistant Director.