• 61°

Pantry overwhelmed with gratitude

Dear Editor and Citizens of Oxford-Lafayette County:

Icannot think of enough words to properly express our gratitude to the community for the amazing outpouring of support given to The Pantry during the last quarter of 2016. Most of you who give regularly increased your donations in November and December. And many of you doubled your giving.

Contributions for October through December totaled nearly $50,000! In addition, you organized 14 food drives that brought in more than 25,000 pounds of food.

And your support of our Empty Bowls Luncheon raised $14,454 on Feb. 14.

You have created a good cushion in The Pantry’s financial reserves, and you have stocked shelves with a notable variety of food items. Thanks to your ‘caring enough to share,’ The Pantry in 2016, provided 13,503 individual visits, each providing a week’s worth of groceries, spending less than $7.50 per visit.

Many of our clients need only one or two visits because of a family emergency situation. These residents have often been generous donors once they recover from their crisis.

Some of our clients are repeat shoppers because of physical or mental illness, handicap, joblessness, or old age, which has put their income in the poverty range. Even so, we estimate that not more than 10 percent of residents of Lafayette County living with food insecurity take the opportunity to visit The Pantry. If you know of people who need additional food, please encourage them to come.

Thank you, community, and congratulations on a job well done.

Ann G. O’Dell

for The Pantry