Active food pantry needs meat

Man shall not live by bread alone.

About 100 local families receive fresh produce, canned goods, bread, coffee, cereal, pasta, juice, peanut butter, even baked goods, from the Warren First Church of the Nazarene Food Pantry every month.

“They get a good order,” co-coordinator Donna Carlson said.

While the pantry is providing for families in need, it is struggling to provide meat.

“The food pantry is currently unable to provide meat products due to the high cost of meat,” Carlson said.

In the past, one of the pantry’s contributors provided a steady and sufficient supply of meat. That is no longer the case.

While large contributors like Second Harvest Food Bank and WalMart make sure the pantry has everything from cakes to fresh vegetables, it’s hard to find meat.

“We deal with Second Harvest,” Carlson said. “We try to get meat from them when they have it.”

The pantry pays Second Harvest 13 cents per pound for any of its food. While the price applies to meat, there is not much meat to be had.

The pantry can also go to a store and buy meat to distribute. But even packages of hot dogs are beyond their ability to provide in quantity. “Our funds are not sufficient right now,” Carlson said.

So, the organizers are asking for help.

“A meat donor,” Carlson said. “That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we’re striving for.”

“Any kind of meat,” co-coordinator Virgil Carlson said. “We’re not picky.”

Ideally, the pantry would like to find funding for or donations of 200 pounds of meat each week.

With 25 families coming in every week, “it goes pretty fast,” Virgil Carlson said.

The Carlsons have been involved with the pantry for 20 years. “When we first started we’d get five families a week,” Virgil Carlson said. “Now it’s 25 families a week.”

Families can only go to the pantry once each month, but they walk out heavily laden with food. “They get a lot,” Virgil Carlson said.

“They come here and they get a good order,” Donna Carlson said.

“We’re just trying to help the community,” she said. “It’s just sad the way the world is. They are so happy when they get food down here.”

Individuals and organizations that are interested in helping the food pantry are asked to contact the church office at 723-3960 or Virgil Carlson at 723-4098.