Families seek pantry help

Families seek pantry help

Diane Wagner donates canned goods to the Baldwin First United Methodist Church about once a month. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, people pile into the church’s food pantry to collect groceries. Some mornings, they form a line that runs five families long. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

“I know that it’s really being used quite a bit,” Wagner said.

The families who use the pantry are hungry. They want soup. They want spaghetti noodles and sauce. They want juice. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

The food pantry runs low some days. When this happens, Wagner makes a special trip to Sam’s Club to buy more, to keep its shelves stocked.

“I think that those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with a good job and ability to pay our bills, should be helping other people,” Wagner said.

Wagner believes in people the way she believes in God. Just the other night, someone delivered a trunk-full of groceries to the church. Stan Vickers, who helps with the food pantry, said this happens sometimes – unexpected deliveries in the nick of time. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

“It’s amazing how things work,” Vickers said. “You just have to put your faith in God and have faith that everything will work out fine.”

Because of unexpected donations, Vickers does not fear the current economic situation. Baldwin residents already have helped supply the pantry with food and necessities.

“People want to give back to their community, and this is a way to do that,” Laura Dickinson, who also helps with the pantry, said. “They feel blessed with what they have and want to share the blessing.”

In August alone, the food pantry supplied 60 families with food, and Dickinson only expects the numbers to grow.

“I don’t think the giving is down. I think the need is greater,” Dickinson said. “People have continued to give and give. We’re just having more and more people use the pantry.”

Because of the demand, Dickinson said the church often turns to outside sources like the Baldwin City Public Library for donations.

The library recently held a food drive where canned goods were accepted in penance for $1 fines. As a result, five boxes of food were taken to the pantry. Green beans. Corn. Soup. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

Before the holidays, Dickinson said the area grade schools hold food drives as well. Drives like this, coupled with Baker’s “Get Your Can to the Pulpit,” will be necessary this year, Dickinson said.

Especially heading into the winter.

“The numbers are always going up,” Vickers said. “For a small little pantry, we serve a lot of people.”

For now, Wagner puts her faith in God.

“It’s important to help when your lucky enough, blessed enough,” Wagner said.

She has faith that people will continue to help. Faith that no Baldwin City residents will go hungry this holiday season. Faith that the pantry will not run out.

Faith. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.