Food drive starts to replenish pantryCut hours, lay-offs and other economic factors affect a family’s bottom line, said one food bank coordinator. And that bottom line also affects the family’s bellies, she said. Demand for food baskets is up at Community Action, said Amy Dunwoody, the organization’s food pantry coordinator.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Cut hours, lay-offs and other economic factors affect a family’s bottom line, said one food bank coordinator. And that bottom line also affects the family’s bellies, she said.
Demand for food baskets is up at Community Action, said Amy Dunwoody, the organization’s food pantry coordinator.
In July, Dunwoody filled about 110 food baskets which fed about 300 people in nine counties. Of those 300, 125 of them were children, she said.
Last July, Dunwoody filled about 80 baskets.
“We are busier than ever I think,” she said.
Some local businesses recently had to cut staff or reduce hours, Dunwoody said. Some of those employees are now in need of assistance from Community Action.
So to keep up with demand, the Buffalo Mall is again holding a canned food drive to benefit Community Action. The mall held its first canned food drive last year.
“There’s been a few more layoffs and that’s going to hurt,” said Kim Diede, administrative assistant for the Buffalo Mall.
Many of the families in need of the food baskets are working ones, Dunwoody said. Some of the families work multiple jobs and others are single-parent homes.
“It’s hardest to see a family that is really trying and they’re not able to make ends meet,” she said.
Some of the need is recurring, Dunwoody said. She sees some of the same families each month. Others receive assistance sporadically. Some families who once received assistance from Community Action, now give back to it, she said.
“They’re not just sitting around, you know, they are trying,” she said.
This year, the Buffalo Mall is asking businesses and service clubs to get involved. One of them is Riddle’s Jewelry.
Riddle’s got involved because of the need locally, and Riddle’s also participates in charitable events corporate-wide, said Shirley Jackson, manager.
The goal is to fill three pickup trucks with food, personal hygiene and cleaning items, Diede said. The pickups, one each from Lloyd’s Motors, R.M. Stoudt and Don Wilhelm, Inc. await public donations at the Buffalo Mall. The goal is an increase from last year’s challenge of filling two pickups, Diede said.
“This year, I would like to see the public get more involved,” she said.
Community Action’s donation wish list includes canned meat, fruit and vegetables as well as toilet paper, dish soap and diapers.
The drive ends Sept. 30.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com