New food pantry hopes to address growing need

By: Ryan Famuliner Email
By: Ryan Famuliner Email

While nearly everyone can feel their wallets tightening as food and gas prices climb, those who were already struggling to get by are being pushed over the edge.

It's bringing more and more people through the doors of area food pantries, and now a new organization is offering help.

Many food pantries in the area have rules in place, where they only accept clients below a certain level of income.

Area social service workers say more people are having trouble making ends meet.

There's food on the shelves at St. Vincent DePaul Society, but that's never a sure thing.

“The month of April we went through half of what we had, so obviously if we keep that trend up we wouldn't have much left,” said Executive Director Charlie Thompson.

They say due to rising prices, and a rough job market, They've been seeing more and more clients come through their doors.

“We have two adults working full-time, in families, because of all the other stresses with families we have with gas prices and such, even they are sometimes coming to us,” Thompson said.

After seeing that problem growing, a new organization called Feed the Need decided to step in and fill the niche.

“We're focusing on working people, there's no income guideline, if there’s a need then we want to help you,” said Executive Director Jacqueline Davis.

Working with churches in the area, Feed the Need will have 6 pantry locations throughout the west side of South Bend, opening in the coming weeks.

Even though Thursday was meant to be a ceremonial opening of the central location on Prairie Street, with the real opening coming next Tuesday, the true need in the public shone through.

“When people heard what was going on they decided to come and get food. Partners just put their hands in there, put the boxes together, and we were able to give people considerable donations,” Davis said.

“We're trying to help those people that are working hard, and they’re just coming up short, and their families are suffering because of it,” Davis said.

Feed the Need will also help the clients that come in get in touch with other community outreach organizations.

For now some of their supplies are donated from Feed the Children, and some come from other area food pantries at a low cost.

But they're also hoping to get donations, that would be key for them to be able to help more people.

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