Charities Hit Hard By Credit Crunch - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Charities Hit Hard By Credit Crunch

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TRI-CITIES, Wash-- The credit crunch has hurt many businesses and caused consumer spending to slow way down, but something else has also been hit hard and that's charities.

KNDU spoke to leaders from three local charities today who are getting nervous about the holiday season. They say the number of those in need is increasing daily.
The Tri-Cities Food Bank says each day nine new families come to their door, but many businesses and people who usually support these charities are having to cut back on the amount they can donate.

As the holiday season approaches this financial crisis couldn't have come at a worse time. Families are having to stretch every dollar and charitiable giving may be at the bottom of the list.

"It makes me scared in all honesty when I see the stock market and I hear trillions of dollars lost," said Art King, Executive Director Tri-Cities Food Bank.

King says the cost of food, gas and prescription drugs is making demand higher than ever before.

"We have a lot of people with minimum wage that got by prior to the cost of gas going up, they're not getting by now," said King.

The Benton-Franklin Red Cross says this is the busiest time of the year and they fear the credit crunch will reduce their funding.

"It will be kind of a two edged sword. Your going to have more people needing help more people slipping through the cracks, more people needing assistance and less money to help them with," said Jeanne Jelke, Benton-Franklin Red Cross.

Another local charity, Meals on Wheel, delivers food to the elderly. They are worried that their Fall campaign will not raise enough money to support them through the holiday season.

"I'm worried that it won't generate as much as we hope it will because it's the holidays and everybody is in a crunch right now worried about finances from retirement to just living day to day," said Marcee Woffinden, Meals On Wheels.

Many charities are bracing for a hard winter. A lot of non-profits depended on major donations coming from banks. Several investment banks on Wall Street will not be able to support those charities because of the financial crisis.