Mayor Tery Bellamy headed the US Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. The group surveyed twenty-five cities. In Asheville, the number of homeless was unchanged, but “requests for emergency food assistance were up by 63 (percentage not mentioned in article) over the past year but pounds of food distributed fell 7 percent.” The conclusion is that the federal government needs to raise taxes to collect more funds for redistribution. Bellamy said members of the task force:

are especially concerned about what could happen to our emergency food and shelter programs next year, and in the years beyond, if Washington cannot find a responsible way around – not over – the fiscal cliff.