Local food pantries running low on canned goods, other supplies

Some local food pantries are noticing they are short on supplies to pass out to those in need.
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 12:33 AM EDT
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Some local food pantries are noticing the "summer rush" is hitting early and they are running...
Some local food pantries are noticing the "summer rush" is hitting early and they are running low on supplies to pass out to those in need.(WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Some local food pantries are noticeably short on supplies available for those in need.

Eastern Area Community Ministries Executive Director Carrie Gerard said it’s not unusual for them to notice their stock is low during the summer, but this year is different.

A few weeks ago, Gerard and her team noticed their supply was lower than normal. With summer starting for schools soon, she said they were worried about their supply.

“People always think that the east area of Louisville is a place that doesn’t need assistance, so it’s important for people to understand that we are always serving families,” Gerard said. “But especially during the pandemic, we were seeing people who had never been here before.”

Before the pandemic, they were serving 200 families per month. During the pandemic, they were serving closer to 300 families each month. Right now, they are closer to the pre-pandemic numbers but know summer could change that.

“Summer is different because kids are home from school and need to be fed three meals a day, as everyone knows,” Gerard said. “Also churches tend to be less programmatic during the summer and they are the ones who are usually collecting for us. So, it’s a time where we’re usually low but it’s interesting to be low this early in the summer for us so that’s why we sent out our plea for extra food assistance.”

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The pantry is bare! Our summer slump started early this year. We need EVERYTHING! (except corn and green beans). Deliver to EACM between 9:30 and 1:30 Monday through Thursday. Thanks for your help.

Posted by Eastern Area Community Ministries on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Eastern Area Community Ministries posted on Facebook on Tuesday, asking for donations. Gerard said they have gotten some donations since, but they still need to replenish their low stock. They are looking for everything, except corn and green beans. She said canned goods are great, especially things like beans or hearty soups with protein in them.

“I always tell people when they shop for a food pantry, just think about what you eat for dinner,” Gerard said. “Whatever you use to make a meal together for your family, that’s the same food we need in our food pantry.”

Contact Eastern Area Community Ministries here to donate or to find out any information about receiving assistance. They are open to accepting food pantry donations Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For those who need food assistance, call them at (502) 426-2824 to schedule an appointment.

In Hardin County at Helping Hand of Hope, there was a line outside the front doors Friday morning of people waiting to pick up food.

Every month, hundreds of food boxes are handed out to families in Hardin County. Every day, Helping Hand of Hope puts out fresh items, like fresh fruits and vegetables and bread items, outside on tables for anyone to pick up throughout the day.

“We want every single person to not have to go hungry,” Hope Burke, executive director at Helping Hand of Hope, said. “That’s something that no matter what county you live in in Kentucky, no one should go hungry.”

Like other food pantries, Helping Hand of Hope saw an increase in the demand for food assistance when the pandemic started. She said the Army National Guard came in to help them put food boxes together and assist families.

“Two months ago we started noticing we were running low [on food],” Burke said. “So we placed a big order. We did that with some of our partners where we can buy surplus at a discounted rate.”

She said it seemed like things were leveling out, until a few weeks ago. Burke said one of the National Guardsmen told her the warehouse was at its minimum for supplies.

“I go back there and I pull all of our numbers and I’m like wait we’re back to doing 400 food boxes a month now,” she said. “To where even before COVID, we were at 150, if that. And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute.’ So we look and see what the times are now and that’s when we realized, ‘Oh no, we’ve got to do something quick.’”

They, too, reached out to the community to help, asking their community partners and turning to social media.

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🥫Hey we are starting to run very low on canned food items. Are you able to help us here at HHH? When out at the store...

Posted by Helping Hand of Hope (Helping Hand & North Hardin HOPE) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Since posting that, they have received some monetary donations and others have dropped off food, but their stock is still low.

Inside the food pantry, things look fairly stocked, but Burke said without the extra supplies in the warehouse, it won’t last long.

Burke said they have ordered more food and some people have dropped off donations, but they too, say what they have right now isn’t enough.

“I just feel like it’s one of those, they drop it off and it goes out the door as soon as it gets here,” Burke said. “So that’s where we’re at.”

Burke said in addition to canned goods, they could also use hygiene products like deodorant, shampoo, and toothpaste.

They are open to accepting food pantry donations Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

To donate or to receive assistance in Hardin County, click here.

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