PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - At the Bright Hope Baptist Church, dinner is served on tables with neat, white tablecloths. A vase with a plastic flower is the centerpiece.
The welcoming mood masks the grim reality.
The salad, garlic bread and spaghetti dinner is a lifeline to the 100 to 125 people who visit the inner-city Philadelphia church's soup kitchen. The growing demand outpaces supplies from area food banks, and the church more and more relies on donated canned goods from its congregants to help those struggling just to eat.
These are trying times in a city and state once defined by the steel factories that supplied the spine of America's industrial revolution and a proud blue-collar spirit.