Local charities say long-term unemployment has cut donations, even though more people need help.
Last year, for example, the Salvation Army of Wake County had enough food to distribute 1,700 food baskets. Based on donations it's received so far this year, it will be able to give away only 1,400 baskets.
Haven Sink, a volunteer and resource coordinator at the Salvation Army, says it's harder for donors to read the economic outlook.
"I think the economy is getting a little bit better, but people are still unsure," Sink said. "People are still uncertain that it's going to be better, and (they are) just waiting it out to see what happens."
Sink said the nonprofit has experienced tough times as a result.
Last week, the Salvation Army's food pantry was in desperate need of replenishing. It put out a call for help over the weekend and was able to rebuild part of its supply.
"We have lots of weeks – the rest of the summer – that we need a lot more food to help the hungry in our community," Sink said.
The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits says there are signs that charitable giving may rebound this year, but it could be up to three years before donations return to their pre-recession levels.
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