For the charities, the surge in demand has tested their resourcefulness -- and sometimes their patience. Not only must they stock millions of pounds of additional food in bigger warehouses, but they also must adopt fresh tactics to help the newly needy, who can be more bewildered, more emotional and more selective than their traditional clients.
One intake volunteer at Food for Others in Fairfax County, for example, has learned that the formerly affluent won't wait outside in line for food at evening neighborhood giveaways, lest they be spotted.
They'd rather go hungry than be seen getting help? That's not just absurd, it's pathetic.