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A Day at Manna Food Center

Images from the Gaithersburg food bank

distributed about 172,000 70-pound packages of food to needy families during fiscal year 2011, which ended June 30. As the recession continues, the amount of food Manna distributes annually has increased more than two-fold since 2008.

Because of federal budget cuts this year, Manna has not received turkeys or other protein items to distribute to needy families for the holiday season.

New U.S. Census data show that a record number of Americans are now counted among the ranks of the "poorest poor," or those who live on less than $5,570 annually for an individual or $11,157 for a family of four.

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