NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Daily Bread Kitchen at Thomas Chapel Church of Christ is seeing longer lines. And it’s no wonder, nearly one in four households with children is unable to afford food, according to the Food Research and Action Center.

FRAC’s “Food Hardship in America” research shows that national food hardship rates — the inability to afford enough food — are very high both for households with children (23.4 percent) and for households without children (14.9 percent).

In Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes New Haven County, 13 percent of households without children have a food hardship. That jumps to 18.6 percent among households with children.

Marion Mitchell, organizer of the Daily Bread Kitchen, said fewer than 100 people were coming for a meal when the church started serving free food each Wednesday in 2008. Now, the average is around 150 people.

She started Daily Bread with Marion Thomas, widow of the church’s founder, Elder Luther T. Thomas.

Mitchell said they were inspired by religious principles and seeing people “begging for change” in the neighborhood. “I felt this was not what needed to be because Christ commissioned us to feed the hungry,” she said, adding that homeless and working people, parents and singles show up for food.

“We’ve been able to handle it and it’s really been a blessing,” she said.

Veta Scott, who was at the kitchen this week, said she used to be homeless. Her struggle is making ends meet. “I know God’s going to open a door for me,” Scott said.

“People who are working come here for lunch,” said Joey Ladson, a disabled veteran who eats at Thomas Chapel most weeks. “The food is good,” he said, but more important is being treated with dignity. “It’s not just the food, it’s the people here.”