Nov 26, 2008 — The economic recession is already hitting the North Country hard. St. Lawrence County has the highest unemployment rate outside of New York City. Layoffs and budget cuts across the region are forcing more people to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed their families. And it hasn't even gotten really cold yet. Food banks are reporting an increase in demand of anywhere from 10 to 50%. The Food Bank of Central New York sends millions of pounds of food to 47 pantries and soup kitchens in St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties. It's been preparing for years for tough times like these. Now the system believes it's ready. David Sommerstein reports.