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Food pantries struggle in summer

Covington, GA:

As summer begins, Newton County food pantries are struggling to keep shelves full to provide for families in need.

Along with the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, food banks including the Community Food Pantry and the Salvation Army are in need of such basics as canned meats, boxed lunches with meat, canned pastas, juices and cereals.

"Many of these food banks, like the Atlanta Food Bank, have no food," said Clara Lett, shelter director for the Garden of Gethsemane. "Willing Helpers, the Community Food Pantry, all of the pantries-we all help each other out. But it's been a real struggle."

Many pantries are barely able to keep up with the demand, with donations arriving just as supplies run out.

The Community Food Pantry was nearly out of food until they received a load of supplies on Monday from "Stamp Out Hunger," a food drive organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Director Rosalee Thompson expects the new load of food to last only a month. The food pantry serves 25 to 31 families a day, and also helps out individuals.

"The public is noticing that more needs to be done and they've become more receptive to us," said Thompson. "It's amazing how the community comes together when they know help is needed."

Community Food Pantry has also received help from Curves fitness club, Dollar General, Kroger and several other businesses in the county.

The Covington Salvation Army, who has found that the demand for food rises sharply during the summer, is in need of donations of non-perishables, toiletries and large size (three and up) diapers. ... The shelter nearly ran out of food due to the recent storms tapping into the surrounding shelters' resources.

Food... Climate... Right down there at the base of Maslow's hierarchy...

Comments

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

Why I give the majority of my "disposable" income to local food pantries, Gleaners, etc. It breaks my heart that children can be going hungry in this country (and have been, forever). (And I love the new PC-speak for starvation, "food insecurity", as if the food itself suffered from some psychological malady, and not our value system or government. ) If anyone wants to donate, I've been informed that $$ is the best, they can get a bigger bang for their buck, but please, don't feel like actual goods aren't wanted or needed.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

I buy extra at the store each week specifically for our local food pantry too. The food pantry we support is stretched thin for volunteers so if we give them money, somebody has to go buy stuff. They let us know what they need the most.

I live in an area with significant homeless populations, so small canned meats like vienna sausages, tuna or even spam are well liked. They also look for easy to fix things like cup o' noodle, easy mac or soups that are ready to eat. I always feel a little wierd buying what seems so unhealthy. I have seen the food pantry give out apples or oranges with the noodles. They get some fresh foods donated regularly but since they are perishable, they don't want too many of them. We give our community garden extras to them too during the summer.

When people are hungry, not being hungry is the top priority. I am ashamed that people can starve in a country as rich as ours.