Food banks fill up again

Published 9:21 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Pike County food closets had little or no food to offer those in need — but their call for help was heeded.

“People just realized the need,” said Director of the Pike County Department of Human Resources Florence Mitchell. “It was just exactly perfect timing.”

DHR’s food closet, which serves as an emergency food bank for its clients, had only green beans on the shelves for months leading up to Thanksgiving.

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But, after a cry for help, DHR now is on its way to being able to provide food for Christmas, as well.

“It’s not completely full, but it’s on the way there,” said Patty Faircloth, resource social worker and quality assurance coordinator for DHR. “We actually have stuff in there, and when people need something we can go in there and get it.”

Salvation Army’s food bank, while holding more than green beans, was also on it’s way to depletion, with few donations coming in and more people in need of food than before.

But now, Director Kim May said donations have picked up right in time for the holidays.

“Our food bank’s getting filled back up, and if it keeps going like it is, we’ll be in good shape,” May said.

Mitchell and May said everyone from individuals to church groups to Troy University organizations have come in overwhelming numbers with a mission to fill the food banks back up.

And, that was just before Thanksgiving.

In the coming weeks, Troy Elementary School will hold a food drive competition for DHR’s food closet.

“They have come up with all kinds of neat ways to help kids realize what they have,” Mitchell said.

Faircloth said while DHR only serves it’s clients, the number of people applying for assistance has been growing, and having a stocked food supply allows for some immediate assistance.

“We’ve had people come in and apply, and they are waiting to be approved,” Faircloth said. “But we’re able to give them the canned goods in the meantime.

“A lot of times when people get the nerve to come admit they don’t have, by that point it’s too late. So, when we can go in there and give them some canned goods to get them through the next day, it’s good.”