Archive for Friday, November 28, 2008

Lawrence pantry out of food; others keeping pace with demand

November 28, 2008


Requests for food are overwhelming at least one Lawrence food pantry.

Wednesday afternoon, the shelves became bare in the pantry at East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp, 2518 Ridge Court. Director Jeanette Collier closed it until a new supply of food can be obtained. She hopes that will be Monday.

“We’ve had a lot of donations in October and November, but we’re seeing 800 people a month,” Collier said. “I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep up with demand.”

ECKAN is one of several small pantries involved in the Just Food Program, which also includes the Salvation Army and Trinity Interfaith pantries. No one could be reached for comment Friday at those services because of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

But other pantries are keeping up with food demand. The LEO Center, 1 Riverfront Plaza, is one of them. The centralized food pantry some churches donate too, is “well-stocked,” said the Rev. Paul Gray, pastor at Heartland Community Church. It is only open two afternoons a week, however.

The demand also is being met by Ballard Community Services, which includes Ballard Community Center, 708 Elm, and Penn House, 1035 Pa., representatives said.

ECKAN has several private donors, Collier said. It also is using funds to buy food at reduced costs from Harvesters Community Food Network, a food bank based in Kansas City, Mo.

Thousands of pounds of food have been received during the past two months, but it hasn’t been enough, Collier said.

“I know the donors are really strapped and we’ve got a lot of good multiple donors every month,” she said. “It’s just that the demand is up and it is because of a lot of new faces; a lot of working households that can’t afford the food.”

Collier thinks a more centralized food distribution system is needed in Lawrence. There is no one site large enough to be used as a collection and storage facility.

“Some things we can’t do now because we are just these little pantries and not a food bank,” Collier said. “Food banks have more access to more resources.”


TriSigmaKS 9 years, 4 months ago

The Salvation Army DOES need food just as much as ECKAN, please get out and donate!!!!

somebodynew 9 years, 4 months ago

I just don't get the way things work with some of these charitable organizations. They all do very good work, but they are all separate with overhead for each and every one. Why don't we have one central organization with one overhead and expenses. Money/food goes further and the donations could count for more. It just seems like even if they want to do good, they also want to have their name attached for recognition (and to provide a job for people). With this economy they had better figure out a way to consolidate, 'cause people can't donate as much as they used to.

FormerCentralKansan 9 years, 4 months ago

Do they hand out job applications as well with the free food? Just checking...

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 4 months ago

FormerCentralKansan (Anonymous) says… Do they hand out job applications as well with the free food? Just checking…75-80% of those living in poverty actually do work, some even more than one job. Your comment implies that poverty has to do with a lack of work ethic. I don't believe that is the case. You can point out anecdotal stories of lazy people who just don't want to work, but, in fact, most people that are poor work at least one job if not more. Many service organizations do help recipients in numerous facets of their lives, not just handing out food. But by the grace of God go I.........

misseve 9 years, 4 months ago

Logan you beat me too it... I wish some people would edit before posting stupid comments. Most of the increase in the consumption of the food pantries are the "working poor" that is those who are just barely making ends meet with their jobs AFTER bills are paid.

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Eckan, Leo, or Salvation Army, I have some extra food. I do not have a car, but if one of these agencies is able to come to my home and get it, I'd be happy to donate it!If interested, contact LJW and ask for misplacedcheesehead.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 4 months ago

somebodynew must not have read the article, which states "Collier thinks a more centralized food distribution system is needed in Lawrence. There is no one site large enough to be used as a collection and storage facility."FormerCentralKansan needs to learn a little about humility and compassion. No, scratch that. FormerCentralKansan needs to learn a lot about humility and compassion.

black_butterfly 9 years, 4 months ago

I've donated when there is a box to drop the donations in at the grocery store. If all of the stores would have a donation box year round instead of just at the holidays I think the pantries would have a better chance of remaining full and more people would donate. I just don't have time to go to the agencies and deliver donations, especially when some of them have limited hours. I'd be more than happy to donate more if they would make a donation box available and convenient; At the grocery stores! Restaraunts throw out so much food on a daily basis. It is too bad that the food can not be delivered to people in need.,

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 4 months ago

Huh. I googled "Lawrence Kansas hunger" and this was buried several pages back.

unite2revolt 9 years, 4 months ago

I just wanted to post about the Playing Agianst Hunger campaign at Hometown Games here in Lawrence.1st this is about a small business owner trying to feed some people and give back to the community he does business in.2nd his customers are going to buy his products with or with out the discount to support local businesses and to have a place to play their games.Finally many of the the people playing these games are very generous and give much more than a single can to this month long food drive, which offers many more ways to raise funds and food items than simply trading them in for discounts.I for one commend them for seeing a need in our community and doing something to address it. Frankly those are the kind of people we need in public office in this town.

countrygirl 9 years, 4 months ago

Vangent has a food drive going on right now and all that is collected will go to ECKAN. I challenge every employer in Lawrence to do the same. It doesn't take much--just a box in the break room and someone to volunteer a half hour or so to go drop it off. If everyone who is able brings in just one can or jar--just think of the amount of good we can do.

countrygirl 9 years, 4 months ago

Let's see if we can nudge this back so people will see it. With the layoffs around town, more people will be looking for assistance.

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