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Wyanet food pantry sees increased needs

WYANET — The Wyanet Food Pantry had a busy month in June, according to Director Kathy Crayne.

On Monday, Crayne said the number of patrons was definitely higher in June, but overall monthly numbers have been fairly consistent this year. As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the food pantry has averaged about 150 people a month. The numbers seem to balance out as new people come and others leave, Crayne said.

As usual, summer time can be a busier time for the food pantry, since children are out of school and parents may need more help with groceries, since their children aren’t getting breakfast and lunch at school. Also, Crayne said there has been a recent increase in the number of senior citizens using the food pantry.

Right now, the shelves at the Wyanet Food Pantry are fairly well stocked, but supplies always need to be replenished. She said the community has been good to help with supplying items for the food pantry.

“It seems when money is tight, people get even more generous,” Crayne said.

Looking at recent community donations, the Wyanet Post Office collected items for the food pantry during the recent postal service collection. Also, Casey’s General Store in Wyanet has a coin collection jar on its counter for the food pantry and also gives food items to the food pantry from its own shelves.

With monetary donations, the food pantry is able to buy food supplies at reduced costs through the River Bend Food Bank in the Quad Cities and the Midwest Food Bank in Peoria. As the summer progresses, fresh garden produce is also welcomed.

Looking at needs for the food pantry, Crayne said the need right now is for additional volunteers to help on the Thursday distribution days. The current volunteers are a wonderful group of people, but summer time means vacations and it’s difficult to always have the needed people to work. Also, it would be nice to have some younger people take advantage of this community volunteer opportunity, she said.

Established in March 2003 as an outreach of the Wyanet United Methodist Church, the Wyanet Food Pantry is all about being a good neighbor, Crayne said. To qualify for the services of the Wyanet Food Pantry, an individual or family must live in Wyanet or Wyanet Township.

“It can be the hardest thing to come in and ask for help,” Crayne said. “We make sure to try to make them feel like we are just their neighbors — there to help them out. We are all about being a helping hand to others.”

The Wyanet Food Pantry is housed in the basement of the First United Methodist Church, located at 112 W. Main St. Hours are from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays. However, the food pantry will be closed Thursday due to the Fourth of July holiday but will reopen on July 11.

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