The Orchestras Feeding America national food drive has expanded to all 50 states, as the need for food grows more urgent. Nationwide, 215 orchestras are now participating. A front-page story in Friday’s New York Times (2/20) reports on the many “newly poor” who are turning to food banks across the country. Many of them are people who have recently lost jobs or homes; for them, food pantries are “the first tentative step” in seeking help. “These are people who never really had to ask for help before,” a New Jersey Salvation Army official says in the article. “They were once givers and now they’re having to ask for assistance.” Demand at the nation’s food banks increased by 30 percent in 2008 over the previous year, according to Feeding America. For more on the Orchestras Feeding America food drive, click here.