Increased costs put Storehouse Community Food Pantry’s services at risk
Published 12:28 pm Friday, September 15, 2023
Due to inflation, many people have fewer dollars in their pocketbooks and fewer groceries in their cupboards.
Inflation has also taken its toll on the Storehouse Community Food Pantry, a local non-profit organization that distributes food to individuals and families requiring temporary assistance.
Donna Cowart, who serves as the treasurer for the food pantry, said without an increase in donations, the distribution of services will have to be altered.
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Currently, clients are allowed to take advantage of the food pantry six times a year, Cowart said, but due to the rising cost of food, existing funds cannot continue to support that level of service.
“A few years ago, clients could only come three times a year, but now they can come six times a year over a 12-month period,” she said.
If funding doesn’t increase, the food pantry will have to return to helping only three times a year.
“We will have to buy less and serve less,” Cowart said.
From January to August of this year, the Storehouse Community Food Pantry spent an average of $7,400 per month for food. With the monthly operating expenditures, 600 meals were provided weekly.
The Storehouse Community Food Pantry is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Cowart said they typically serve 50 clients per day or 150 a week. On each visit, clients receive enough food for four days — a total of 600 meals per week.
Traditionally, the food pantry has also provided turkeys and hens for the holidays, but Cowart said there is a chance that may not happen this year without additional financial resources.
In addition to the rising cost of food, another issue plaguing the food pantry is its increased number of clients. Inflation has priced many people out of being able to support themselves, she said, and they now have to rely on help from others.
Giving also suffers with higher food prices, since fewer people are able to donate, Cowart said.
“Presently deposits are down, and spending is four times more than the money coming in,” she said.
While the food pantry would covet an increase in donations, Storehouse Community Food Pantry volunteer Jane Smith said they are appreciative of the people who support the organization.
“The food we distribute is supplied through donations — food and money — from public and private sources in our community,” Smith said. “We are so thankful for the support from local churches, businesses, schools, civic groups and individuals.”
People interested in donating can mail cash or checks to Storehouse Community Food Pantry, P.O. Box 820914, Vicksburg, MS, 39182; or by credit card or PayPal on the food pantry website: vicksburgfoodpantry.org.
Food donations can also be dropped off during food pantry hours, from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church, 713 Bowmar Ave.
Food items needed are provided on the Storehouse Community Food Pantry’s webpage at vicksburgfoodpantry.org/mul.html.
For additional information, email email@example.com or call 601-461-8269 during operating hours.