More People Visiting Food Pantry | VideoAmy Fox | 11/13/2012
Flats of canned goods and stacks of boxed food items fill up the Our Lady of Grace Food Pantry today, but that could change.
"You never know from one day to the next. Usually you can say, well, this is the first week of the month, we`re usually a little slow, but you just have no idea," said coordinator Joyce Sand.
According to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, the number of North Dakotans visiting food pantries is up 6.5 percent.
"A good part of the increase and the fact the flood has created conditions that have along with the rising prices and the housing issues that people have to face now who may have a flooded house that they are working on and they`re still paying for, as well as renting a house, which they`re on fixed incomes and you kind of canít absorb that type of increase without needing some help,Ē said Robert Lower, Lordís Cupboard Food Pantry Volunteer.
When someone comes into the food pantry, they have a whole list of items to pick from. Anywhere from a jar of peanut butter, fruits and vegetables. Itís a load of groceries that will help them throughout the month.
"We have guidelines where our coordinator fills the big sacks, big brown grocery sacks, and up to a family of four gets one, and then five and over gets two of those,Ē said Sand. ďPlus, we have meat and different miscellaneous frozen items that they get it off our second shelf, and when we have produce. So, they get a good cart full."
With more carts being filled up, food pantries are struggling to keep up with the demand.
"As the need rises, and obviously the need for assistance rises," said Lower.
Sand said, "So, we are well supplied right now, but it doesn`t last."
Food pantries throughout Minot will continue to fill the needs of the people at least while supplies last.
On average, Sand says they help about 400 people each month, but that number varies.