High demand stresses Mooers food pantry

MOOERS This past Thanksgiving, when the tables of so many were laden with holiday feasts, volunteers at the Mooers Food Pantry were scanning their bare shelves with dread. St. Anns Catholic Church in Mooers Forks holds a free Thanksgiving dinner each year, and each year the food pantry donates something for their meal, explained co-director Diane Brooks. This year we didnt have anything to give them. Demand for the food banks services swelled with the onset of colder weather and increasing fuel prices. Mrs. Brooks estimated that in the last month, they have grown from servicing fewer than 150 families to more than 200 needy families. Yesterday we had six new families, reported Mrs. Brooks. One senior told me that she earns $600 each month and last month she spent $300 on heating fuel. She was so apologetic for needing us, but thats why were here. In response, local businesses, churches and individuals have stepped up their donations; however, demand is continuing to increase at an even faster rate. The pantry currently serves families from Mooers, Mooers Forks, Champlain, Rouses Point, Ellenburg, Altona, Chazy and West Chazy, but there is concern the food pantry may be forced to reduce its service area to keep up with the demand. The work of the Mooers Food Pantry is not government funded; it is supported exclusively by donations, along with a monthly shipment from the Latham Regional Food Pantry from April through December. Although housed in the Mooers Wesleyan Church, the food pantry is not affiliated with the church and is operated solely by local volunteers. The Mooers Food Pantry is currently seeking donations of shelf-stable food items, such as canned vegetables, soups, tuna, pasta and cereal, as well as monetary donations, which are used to fill in gaps in the inventory. We never know what were going to receive, said Mrs. Brooks. But we want to give the families things they can make into meals, like pasta and sauce or tuna for sandwiches and soup. Those interested in making donations may send checks made out to Mooers Food Pantry, in care of Janet Brooks, 693 Gilbert Road, Mooers, N.Y. 12958. For more information, contact co-directors Wendell or Diane Brooks at 236-4763.

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