A food pantry with empty shelves is no help to the hungry.
But that’s the case right now at one such charity in our region.
Jim Olson reports on the situation at the Salvation Army in Minot.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “We’re standing in my food pantry and you see behind me my shelves are empty.”
(Jim Olson, KX News) Captain Randy Stahl says that sums up the problem at the Salvation Army food pantry right now. There’s little is any food.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “We’d like to have these shelves full all month long to be able to have people come in and get that food.”
(Jim Olson, KX News) Each month, the pantry buys food from the Great Plains Food Bank, but Stahl says in recent months, a surge in need has overtaken the monthly supply.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “People come in, we get 200-350 people coming in a month. And 350 people walking through my pantry a month, it doesn’t take long before they’re empty.”
(Jim Olson, KX News) You can look through the empty shelves here and get the idea of how desparate the situation is. Add to that the fact that in the past month they had 70 new applications, right on top of the hundreds who already use this pantry. So their need is great.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “We have spaghetti noodles but no spaghetti sauce. We have a freezer full of meat, but nothing to go with it.”
(Jim Olson, KX News) He says in the past, the Salvation Army has asked for money to buy food. Now, he’s asking for you to check your shelves and donate food items that can help a hungry family put meals on the table.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “Corn and vegetable and fruit and chili and soups and Hamburger Helper and all the things that can make a meal is what we’re trying to put on the shelves.”
(Jim Olson, KX News) The pantry gets regular donations from Wal Mart and Cash Wise and occasional food drives – now he’s asking you to help them make sure the end of each month doesn’t result in empty freezers, refigerated shelves, and cupboards, and turning away people looking for help.
(Capt. Randy Stahl, Minot Salvation Army) “And that hurts. That hurts my staff, that hurts us as a community that we can’t help that man, we can’t help that family, we can’t help that whatever. The issue is that we’re trying to help everyone and at the end of the month, we’re hurting and we can’t help them people.”
If you’d like to donate food or organize a food drive, just call or stop in at the Salvation Army – located just east of the Auditorium in Minot.