St. Mary’s Church outreach coordinator Janice Hinckley said its food pantry has gotten off to a “busy start” in November with families already starting to come in for food.
“Usually it’s the last couple of weeks of the month when we start to get busy,” she said. In October, the food pantry served 802 people; last year at the same time, it only served 650.
With the price of food going up and governmental heating assistance being delayed this year, Hinkley said she could understand the change.
With the organization’s state grant depleted in October, things would be difficult without the support of parishioners and fundraisers, she said.
An upcoming Boy Scout food drive will benefit Hinkley’s food pantry, as well as a food pantry in Davenport.
Hinkley noted that a lot of organizations around the holiday are very generous to the effort. Still, she said there is concern about the future that will lead to meeting with volunteers after Thanksgiving to make sure they are careful not to give too much to families in their monthly allotments.
“We have to be careful with spending, and tightening the belt,” Hinkley said, “to make sure everybody gets something.”