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Open Pantry’s emergency food bank’s shelves bare, donations needed

February 8, 2012
SPRINGFIELD — Open Pantry Community Services is seeking food and monetary donations for their Emergency Food Pantry (EFP).
“Unfortunately, the food donated at WAQY-ROCK 102’s Mayflower Marathon has been depleted. The 52-hour food drive brought in over 37,000 lbs. of food this past November. However the need has risen so sharply that we ran out of food much earlier. We normally run out sometime in late March,” Open Pantry Director Allison Maynard, said.
With a limited budget and an increasing number of people in need, food donations are crucial to the operation of the EFP. “We have seen a dramatic increase in people accessing our food pantry since last year. We served an additional 1,000 people in December 2011 in comparison to December 2010.”
Donations can be brought directly to the Emergency Food Pantry which is located at 2460 Main St. in Springfield. Pantry hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Along with donating food, individuals or companies can host a food drive which is easy and rewarding. For more information on hosting a food drive, log onto www.openpantry.org.
On the third Monday of each month between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., EFP serves only seniors, to provide them special care. In addition to preparing and distributing food, staff at the EFP also helps individuals fill out SNAP (food stamp) applications.
Items most needed include but are not limited to: protein items, canned fruits and veggies, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, rice, soups, bread, and snacks for kids. The Emergency Food Pantry is an essential service which supported over 14,000 individuals and families last year. For more information regarding Open Pantry’s Emergency Food Pantry, making a donation, or hosting a food drive, contact Candace Larger, program director, at 737-5353 or clarger@openpantry.org.
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