Food pantries expect to see spike in patrons

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:37 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The COVID-19 pandemic is making it difficult for some families to keep food on the table.

Unemployed people could be missing out on an additional $600 per week by Friday, July 31 and that means food shelters like The Neighbors’ Place and Peyton’s Promise are expecting to see an influx of people in need.

“Pantries are always in need. There’s never a doubt in my mind that if you want to do something good, donate to a local pantry because they are always in need of something,” Executive Director of Peyton’s Promise Teena Medick said.

Whether there is a pandemic or not, pantries need community members to donate food and cash and now, food pantries are expecting to see an increase in people like no other time once everyone’s unemployment money runs out.

“We have to be always aware of what’s happening and be responsive to that and be as proactive as we can so we’re anticipating a big spike again,” Executive Director of The Neighbors’ Place Donna Ambrose said.

Numbers have been up at food pantries because of the pandemic, but once people began getting their stimulus checks and extra money from unemployment, pantry numbers went down.

During the pandemic, The Neighbors’ Place has seen over 500 new families and they expect more people will take advantage of the food pantry soon.

Ambrose said they're there whenever people need them and they are ready for the surge.

"We don't want people to be in this situation but we are hoping that people will take advantage of the opportunity to have some groceries to have a little more disposable income to make those other basic needs met," she said.

The food share program also recently went back to normal levels and Medick believes the upcoming jump in people is inevitable at food pantries.

“My fear or my prediction is what’s going to happen is when those benefits run out they are going to see a huge influx of people attending the pantry,” Medick said.

Although both Peyton’s Promise and The Neighbors’ Place are going to see a rise in people, they’re prepared, but it’s important that community member still keep the donations coming.

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