SPRING VALLEY – Food pantries were originally intended to fill the gap when households were out of food and resources due to an emergency.
“Emergency situations are now less than half of our client load,” said Jan Martin, director of Project Success which operates the Hall Township Food Pantry. “We are serving more working poor households whose income does not stretch to cover food expenses, seasonally employed households, older adults living on fixed incomes, as well as households who are temporarily homeless.”
Martin said long-term unemployment, and more frequently, underemployment continue to force people with jobs to seek food assistance.
“More often than not, at least one person in every household we serve has someone currently unemployed,” she said.
Martin said summer is particularly hard on families; with children out of school, it’s tough to feed everyone without the benefit of school breakfast and lunch programs.
The Hall Township Food Pantry is seeking donations that can provide children with nutrition without requiring them to cook meals and possibly injure themselves in the process.
“Because bread spoils so quickly, we suggest donating packages of flour tortillas so children could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” Martin said.
Also on the list are saltine crackers, graham crackers, Ritz crackers, pudding cups, fruit cups, fruit, milk, unfrosted pop tarts, juice boxes, granola bars and cereals of all sorts. Lunch meats, cheese and fresh veggies are also appreciated.
“Basically, pack a lunch for a child!” Martin said. “Even if you haven’t packed a lunch for years, it is something one never forgets.”
The food pantry has plenty of refrigerator and freezer space and is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for donation drop off.
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