Need for emergency food donations at an all-time high
By Sue Harrison
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” Matthew 25:40.
For more than 28 years, the Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry, located in the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, has served our community. Over 35 volunteers provide assistance, compassion, a listening ear, and comfort to those families who come to the pantry each day. North Kent Community Services can refer up to 30 families a week, from all parts of Northern Kent County, to receive five days of emergency food and essentials. Clients may come to the pantry up to five times in one calendar year with at least 30 days between visits.
The pantry store is located in the basement of the church. The pantry shelves are stocked with food and staples bought by pantry volunteers, donations from individuals, food drives by different organizations, and food purchased by a faithful volunteer who has a coupon mission. Several freezers and refrigerators hold donated baked goods and breads, venison donated by area hunters, as well as hamburger, hotdogs and other meats.
The need for this emergency food support is at an all time high. Transportation costs and food prices have sky rocketed and many people are finding themselves without income and the means to feed their children and themselves.
The pantry needs help! Cash donations are always needed. In 2013, the approximate expenditures for the Cedar Springs Food Pantry were $30,000 not counting the food and other items donated. It takes the faithful cash donations of many to keep this food pantry serving those in need.
In addition to cash donations, the pantry is always in need of personal care items such as dish soap, laundry soap, tooth brushes, toothpaste, bar soap, toilet paper, facial tissue, deodorants, shampoo, and feminine hygiene items. Non-perishable foods such as powdered milk, cereals, soups, oatmeal, canned meats, fruit juice, peanut butter, and canned fruits and vegetables are also in high demand.
Donated items or money can be dropped off at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church office any time during office hours Monday through Friday. The pantry accepts checks made out to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church and in the memo line put “Community Food Pantry.”