CHICAGO – Granola bars, cereals, cookies, nut mixes and peanut butter have long been a mainstay of food pantries because of their durability and long shelf life.
Now, the food banks are throwing out thousands of pounds of food containing peanuts recalled in the salmonella outbreak.
And with the economy floundering, the timing couldn't be worse.
The nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, says food banks across the country reported a 30 percent jump in demand in December 2008 compared with the previous year.
Workers have to spend hours searching their stockpiles for the tainted items instead of serving those in need.
The salmonella outbreak has sickened nearly 600 people and is linked to nine deaths.