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Archive for Saturday, June 8, 2002

Food pantry issues emergency appeal

June 8, 2002

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Douglas County's ECKAN office needs some help to continue providing food to the poor.

"We're empty," said Joyce Molina, coordinator of the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp. in Lawrence.

ECKAN is one of several pantries to serve Lawrence's poor. The others, Pelathe Community Resource Center, Penn House, Ballard Community Center and the Salvation Army, said Friday that their pantries were generally in good shape.

But ECKAN has spent the week using emergency donations from Dillons and Pizza Hut. Molina said her organization disbursed food to as many as 15 people a day.

"I've been able to keep everybody in bread and pizza," Molina said. "I've still got some hamburger and canned goods; nobody's starving, but they're not getting all they're used to."

Molina said the Salvation Army was stepping in to help with a grant, which should ease the pressure. She wouldn't disclose the amount, and Salvation Army officials were unavailable to comment.

Molina said the shortage at the ECKAN pantry was due, in part, to the number of people who need food.

"I'm serving a lot of clients," she said.

But Molina, who has been on the job since early April, said she also had erred by giving food to people who had not yet provided documentation of their need.

"I've been set straight on that," she said.

Molina took her job after former coordinator Eve Cofer was fired for undisclosed reasons. That prompted discord between ECKAN supporters in Lawrence and the organization's main office in Ottawa.

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