People in Need seeing increase in need


People In Need of Delaware County has seen a large increase in the number of people served due to rising costs.

Mallory Sribanditmongkol, PIN’s director of community engagement, said last week that the food pantry is serving 400 families a week, and the number of people served increased by 56% from first quarter 2023 to first quarter 2024.

Sribanditmongkol reported PIN provided 158,864 meals from January to March of this year.

“Our mission at People in Need, Inc. is to provide relief to our neighbors in their time of need,” Sribanditmongkol said. “Since 1981, we have served as a safety net to help people get back on their feet.”

She added one of the causes of the increase in need is rising food and housing costs.

“Despite being one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing counties in Ohio, there is a disparity of income and roughly 25,000 individuals are food insecure, according to state and federal guidelines,” Sribanditmongkol said.

She said clients can get groceries at PIN once per week, in addition to their monthly produce market. When clients arrive, they receive a four-day “shop” based on family size to provide three meals for each person for four days.

“Food assistance helps create breathing room in our clients’ weekly budgets so they can make ends meet in other areas,” Sribanditmongkol said.

Earlier this month, the pantry asked the community for donations of fresh produce to supplement its dwindling supply. Sribanditmongkol said the community “responded in a big way!”

“These donations are always appreciated and go quickly; if residents would like to donate fruit, vegetables, or dairy products we will gladly accept!” Sribanditmongkol said. “We always accept donations of food, personal care or household supplies to our pantry, as well as financial donations to support our work.”

She said PIN’s most wanted items this quarter are peanut butter and jelly, canned soups and stews, packaged sides (such as macaroni and cheese, boxed potatoes, stuffing, etc.,) and laundry detergent.

Donations can be dropped off at the PIN warehouse at 138 Johnson Drive, Delaware, during business hours. PIN has also partnered with Orange and Liberty townships and the Powell/Liberty YMCA to place collection boxes at their locations.

PIN is hoping to grow its satellite donation locations across the county.

“We are seeing more people coming more frequently during the last quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024,” said Kathy Hoff, People In Need of Delaware County’s executive director. “These numbers are higher than what we saw during the peak of the pandemic. This is due to the growth of county residents and the rising costs of housing and food; key areas we address through our programs.

“Unfortunately, ongoing funding to support these needs is nowhere near the level as during the pandemic,” she added. “We are very committed to providing a well-balanced diet to those we serve which includes fresh produce, frozen meats, and shelf stable items. To date, we have not had to reduce the ability for people to come weekly and the food needed for a four-day meal supply. We hope we never have to make that difficult choice, as we know that families with children and senior households are truly struggling.”

More information about PIN can be found at or by calling (740) 363-6284.

Glenn Battishill can be reached 740-413-0903.

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