tyler-perry_web.jpgATLANTA (AP) — Tyler Perry may be a successful director, playwright and actor, but he knows what it's like to be hungry.

Perry, who grew up the poor son of a carpenter in New Orleans and was homeless for a time, has donated enough food to feed 1,000 families for two weeks in Atlanta, where he lives now.

He spent part of Tuesday morning unloading and packaging food at Hosea Feed the Hungry and the Homeless care center, where organizers say a tanking economy has brought more people seeking help.

“I've been out on the street, I know what it's about,” said Perry, whose projects include Tyler Perry's the Family That Preys.

“I couldn't imagine doing that with children looking at me for food,” he said.

Perry, 39, stood side by side with volunteers and said he felt pulled to visit the center after hearing about it on the news.

“I had to do something,” he said.

Photo: Tyler Perry