Just as Gov. Mark Parkinson calls attention to the state’s hunger problems, the Salvation Army in Lawrence has closed its food pantry because of a lack of food donations.
“We’re not really able to help the people that need help at the moment,” said Wes Dalberg, the Salvation Army’s corps officer.
Dalberg said the pantry has been closed for about a week. A single container of peanut butter sat this week in a cupboard that usually would be full. Other cabinets in the basement of the agency on New Hampshire Street were mostly empty.
“We’ve not had enough food that we could make a decent food bag for anybody,” Dalberg said.
Dalberg said more people are relying on the Salvation Army; it’s had a 5 percent increase in visitors over the past year.
Although those in need can no longer pick up bags of food from the Salvation Army for their family, they can still come to the building to receive free meals.
Diana Brauer, the Salvation Army’s food services director, said she serves meals for up to 125 people per dinner.
“All too often free food is not the best food for them; we try to serve a well-balanced meal,” Brauer said.
Dalberg said the pantry will remain closed until the Salvation Army receives more donations. Other food pantries in the Lawrence area are open, including Just Food, 1200 E. 11th St.
Nonperishable food donations can be brought to the Salvation Army, 946 N.H.