The Barnes County Food Pantry is appreciative of all the local efforts from businesses, churches, schools, churches and individuals who have helped so far this season, but is still in need of food and monetary donations.
Jo Ann Korf, site manager for the Senior Citizen Center which operates the food pantry, said Monday dollar donations and more food are still needed.
Korf said the demand for services has increased in recent months, “and our fund is down.”
The food pantry plans to provide Christmas boxes for families again this year, and it takes more than $20,000 to buy enough food to purchase enough food to buy meat, potatoes, baking supplies, milk and a small amount of fresh fruits and vegetables for each family.
“It takes a lot of people to make it (the annual effort) successful,” Korf said.
“It’s wonderful all the donations we’ve gotten, but donations are down,” and need is up, she said.
Local businesses involved in Stuff the Truck campaigns to gather food for the local food bank this year are Leevers Foods, the Valley City Times-Record, Ingstad Family Media, Barnes County school districts and Marketplace Foods.
“We got 500 pounds of perishable food today from Leevers Foods just today, “ and another 107 boxes from the earlier campaign to fill a truck provided by the Jamestown Coca Cola distributor, Korf said.
“Churches have been wonderful also,” but dollar donations are also needed to fill out food baskets with foods that have not been donated, Korf said.
Between July and September of 2011, the Barnes County Food Pantry served 169 families with 434 members. During the same time period this year, the food pantry served 175 families with 461 members.
Under food pantry rules, all recipients must be referred by a community organization or person. Most referrals come from churches, social services, the Abused Persons Outreach Center and Head Start.
Needed food items include shelf-stable food items such as canned fruit, soup and vegetables, along with money to buy fresh items such as meat, milk, bread, eggs and fresh fruits and vegetables. Money is also needed to buy non-food items including laundry soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers and baby food.
Bonnie Olson, family service specialist for Head Start in Valley City, said Monday, “There’s been a lot more need for food boxes this year than there has been for a long time” among families she works with. Olson said names of all people using the food pantry are kept confidential.
The food pantry is located in the Barnes County Senior Citizens Center, and many volunteers donate their time to shelve incoming products and pack boxes for families in need. All donated money is used to buy food and supplies, and the pantry has no costs for administration or staff time.
For questions or more information about the food pantry call 845-4300. Donations can be mailed to the Barnes County Food Pantry, P.O. Box 298, Valley City, N.D. 58072.