Since emergency food stamp benefits stopped because of the COVID pandemic in March, the number of people requesting assistance has increased dramatically. In Paris, at the Downtown Food Pantry, before March, the average number of families visiting was 650 per week. That number is now nearly 800. With food prices rising, it’s harder and harder for many to feed their families, and donations are greatly accepted. For example, a $10 gift will provide 40 meals. Those wishing to contribute can do so online at downtownfoodpantry.org or by mailing a tax-deductible check to 124 W. Cherry St. in Paris.