When the local Salvation Army food pantry runs out of peanut butter and canned meats, workers usually give canned beans to people in need. But now the pantry is running out of beans, too.
"Beans are usually the backup source for protein," said Renee Low, emergency assistance program director for the Salvation Army in Lawrence. "But we don't even have a lot of beans right now."
Area food pantries have hit the after-holidays slump, when donations decrease.
"This is the beginning of the dry spell after the Christmas season," said Paul Hunt, director of resources at the Ballard Community Center. "People have given to the food drives and they are focusing on their own bills."
Area food pantries have little or no canned meats and peanut butter, creating a lack of high-protein foods. They also are dealing with shortages of cereal and meal starters, such as Hamburger Helper and spaghetti sauce.
Jolee Erskin, food coordinator for Penn House, said all she had on stock now was canned vegetables. She said people seemed more apt to donate canned vegetables, such as green beans and corn, than anything else.
Patti Gallup, food coordinator for the Salvation Army, said local groups planned food drives in late spring. But she said there was a need for items to fill the gap until then.
"We'll assist people as much as we can, but we can only give what we have," she said.
|Food donations are accepted between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at these agencies:¢ The Salvation Army, 946 N.H.¢ Penn House, 1035 Pa.¢ Ballard Community Center, 708 Elm St.¢ ECKAN Douglas County Community Center, 2518 Ridge Court|