Food pantries, organizations try to keep up with increasing need around holidays

Local News

NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) – Thanksgiving dinners are now finished, but Miami Valley food pantries and organizations still have thousands of families to feed.

With God’s Grace Executive Director Nicole Adkins said each week they’re serving new families.
They have regular donors, but they need always new donors to keep up with the demand.

“When we gave out the turkeys that was here in Northridge, we had 402 families that has never been to a food pantry,” Adkins said.

Adkins said the food pantry provided food for around 2,000 families last week.

With God’s Grace operates a weekly mobile food pantry and are opening a free grocery store on December 17.

While they’re always in need of donations, the pandemic has affected their supply of volunteers.

“We’re working with a shoestring of volunteers unless somebody wants to come out and help us, we’re never going to turn volunteers away,” Adkins said.

In a separate effort, Miami Valley Meals distributed thousands of Thanksgiving dinners Wednesday.

“For us to be able to provide these meals directly to the people was incredible,” Miami Valley Meals Media Manager Kary Ellen Berger said.

The organization formed during the pandemic to prepare meals for people who need it.

It started with a few hundred meals a week, now they expect 5,000 a week by the end of the year.

Berger said now they’re trying to figure out how to keep up with the growing demand from the agencies they partner with currently and prospective ones.

“We are reevaluating where we stand right now,” Berger said. “We wanted to take on as many clients as possible, but we also want to be responsible with what food we have and what resources we have.”

Adkins said that while the demand is high because of the pandemic, as long as people keep coming to the pantry, they’ll be there to serve.

“We’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing so that the families in the community does get served and we’ll be able to help them,” Adkins said.

Adkins said people interested in volunteering can show up an hour before a food distribution, or contact them on their website. They’re also in need of volunteers for the free grocery store.

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