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Community Survival Center faces severe food shortage

INDIAN ORCHARD — The Community Survival Center is in desperate need of food for its emergency food pantry.
As of Aug. 30, the center had served 421 households during the month of August for a total of 974 men, women and children. This was an increase of 57 households as compared to the total number of households served in July (364). Sixty of the households served in August were requesting food from the center for the first time.
Prior to July, the center was serving an average of 325 households per month.
The shelves at the center are almost empty. During the summer months it is always difficult to keep enough food on the shelves as typically it is not a season for major drives.
“We are so grateful to The Ludlow Rotary Club for their efforts on our behalf,” Holly Farrar, director of The Community Survival Center, said of the club’s food drive in July, which collected 1,108 pounds of food. “Unfortunately, due to the current economic climate, 1,108 pounds of food, which is in fact a great deal of food, does not go very far. In July we distributed almost 14,000 pounds of food. This was a marked increase: during the past fiscal year we averaged 11,300 pounds of food being distributed each month. I think many people are surprised when they learn how much food it takes to provide food security to our neighbors who are struggling to feed their families.”
The center has virtually no protein items. Donations of canned meats, peanut butter, canned tuna, corned beef hash, beef stew and perishable meats (the center has a refrigerator and freezers) are needed. Also in short supply are macaroni and cheese, breakfast cereal, hearty soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits and pasta sauce.
“Providing a variety of nutritious foods to our families is absolutely essential. Their nutritional status is already compromised by the time they come to us seeking assistance because of their limited financial resources,” Farrar said.
“It is so hard for people to ask us for help. I do not think the center’s staff could bear having to turn people away. Our generous, loyal community has always come to our aid when we have needed them. I know that they will be there for us now,” she added.
The center is open to accept tax-deductible donations Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 240 Main St.
For more information, call Farrar at 543-3930.
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