Food pantry needs donations

B y Derek Liebig

 

An increase in the demand for non-perishable food items and a decrease in donations have left the shelves of the Whitehall Ecumenical Food Pantry as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

Mark Koeble, executive director of the food pantry, has seen lean times during his eight years running the food pantry, particularly last summer, but said the shelves are as about barren as he can recall.

“This is probably the lowest it’s been. It’s never been that low on that side,” pointing to the west wall of the pantry where an entire set of shelves sat completely devoid of food.

“I know times are tough and people don’t have extra to give, but we’re really starting to feel the pinch.”

Housed within two small closets in the basement of the Whitehall United Methodist Church on Greenmount Cemetery Lane, the Food Pantry serves residents from Whitehall, Clemons, Dresden, Comstock, and Hampton.

On average, anywhere from 30 to 45 families depend on the food pantry every month to help supplement their nutritional needs, but that number has crept up to nearly 60 in the last few months, while donations have remained stagnant, if not outright declined.

“People are desperate for help. There’s been more people moving into the area looking for cheaper rent and that’s increased the number of people who are counting on the pantry for help,” Koeble said.

The increase in demand has greatly depleted reserves. Other than a few dozen cans of corn and a healthy stash of peanut butter, the spare closet that serves as a storage space for extra food was empty Wednesday morning. And the situation was worse the following day after the weekly allotment of food was handed out to those in need.  

“If we stay busy I could run out of money to buy things,” Koeble said. “Funding is very low.”

He said he may be forced to eliminate the purchase of some products, like hamburger, and has already been forced to cut back on the quantity of food he gives each family.

“We’ve been trying to stretch our supplies as far as they can go. If worst comes to worst they’ll have to get whatever I’m heavy on.”

The problem hasn‘t been isolated to the Whitehall pantry alone.

Koeble said other food pantries in the area have been hurting as well, illustrating the effects of a depressed economy and still high unemployment rate.

“I’ve spoke with the woman from Saratoga and they are hurting for donations too.”

Koeble said he receives milk, eggs and vegetables from a handful of local businesses and residents but what he really needs is money to purchase more food and canned products.

He said he’s tried different fundraisers in the past, with mixed results. The best source of food still comes from everyday donations, when he can get them.

“We’ll take any non-perishable item. We’re always looking for cereal and canned vegetables and I’ll even take margarine, paper towels and laundry detergent.”

The pantry is open every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and donations can be dropped during that time or folks can call the pantry at 499-2039 to arrange a time to drop items off.

“People really appreciate what I give them, when I have it.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , ,

Fire Company, village resolving their quarrel

Fire House

By Matthew Saari The months-long feud between the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company and the village of Whitehall may soon come […]

Absentee landlords not abiding by law

Whitehall Mayor Phil Smith

By Matthew Saari Last Aug. 30, the Whitehall Village Board passed a law requiring “absentee” landlords – Individuals who own […]

Quarry still focus in Schaff search

Jonathan Schaff

By Krystle S. Morey The lead investigator in the search for a man who went missing after leaving a Granville […]

Former Mount Carmel Church celebrates 150 years

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

By Krystle S. Morey Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church held its final Mass on April 12, 2009, but its […]

Northshire Freepress – 08/11/17

Northshire_8_11_17.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 08/11/17

Weekender 8-11-17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 08/11/17

Lakes_8_11_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/11/17

Lakes_8_11_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 08/11/17

FreePress 8-11-17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 08/09/17

518 Wheels 8_11_17.pdf-web.pdf

RAMPAGE: ‘Bored,’ two men vandalize school

safe color

By Matthew Saari In a fit of boredom, two young men broke into Whitehall High School and caused tens of […]

Village plans to relieve Rathbun Ave. congestion

An unattended vehicle blocked access to Rathbun Avenue Tuesday afternoon. The driver parked the vehicle there while returning bottles and cans at the Eco Cents Bottle Redemption Center.

By Krystle S. Morey The village of Granville Monday took what it calls the first step in addressing the woes […]