Food donations scarce in summer

Staff writer

Volunteer Virginia Bowers opened the refrigerator door Thursday, but all she saw was a dozen eggs at Marion County Emergency Food Bank at 300 E. Santa Fe St., Marion.

Similarly, the shelves of the food bank were sparsely stocked with donations. Multiple families donate weekly, Bowers said, but the food bank still runs low on provisions.

“We could use a lot more,” she said.

Without Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives, donations are always low during the summer, volunteer Mary Ann Wiens said.

“It seems like most of the food drives are during the winter,” she said.

The summer is also a time of increased demand for the food bank. Children are home during the summer, and without affordable school lunches, more families need help from the food bank, Wiens said.

The food bank is also keeping a close eye on funds available for vouchers, food bank director Janet Bryant said. Donations of money are used to give families vouchers for fresh groceries.

“This is a year-round thing, but in the summer people just don’t think about food drives or donating money,” she said.

To receive assistance from the food bank, someone must have a referral from a local pastor or area agencies such as Marion County Health Department or Marion County Department on Aging.

Many families are reluctant to accept assistance, Wiens said. She enjoys talking with those people and convincing them to accept the help. It is rewarding to see some of those families donate to the food bank when they get back on their feet, she said.

Donations can be delivered to Marion County Emergency Food Bank from 9 a.m. to noon every Monday and Thursday. The food bank is located in a back room of Valley United Methodist Church.

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