As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Pacer Pantry is seeking the community’s help to stay well-stocked so it can continue to assist families in the county.
Carrie Hunt, the program coordinator in charge of Delaware City Schools’ Family Resource Center, said the pantry, which provides food and other supplies, continues to be utilized by local families but is running low on certain items.
“Currently, we are in need of household supplies (toilet paper, detergent, dish soap) and toiletry items,” Hunt said, noting those items cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits and have to be provided by donations.
Hunt added there are several factors contributing to the supply shortage, including the pandemic and families relocating to Delaware.
“More residents are utilizing the pantry, essentially, and coming back each month,” she said. “Families are also relocating to Delaware County and restocking with necessities is costly after you’ve already spent so much money just trying to obtain the housing and stay afloat. With the pandemic causing some to have a decrease in income but an increase in living costs, we have seen many people reach out about one resource and then utilize the other wrap-around services we have available.”
Hunt said the pantry was visited 400 times last year. This year, the numbers have stayed steady but are rising since summer. Hunt said the community has helped the pantry stay well-stocked, especially with certain items.
“After our most recent request for help on social media, the community has shown awe-inspiring support,” Hunt said. “Our shelves are full and overflow items are also being stored in the lockers. As corny as it sounds, words are truly powerless to express our gratitude. Students, clubs, and community residents have really went above and beyond to help our small but mighty little pantry.”
Hunt said the pantry can accept a variety of items, including food and cleaning supplies.
“Our pantry is run solely on donations, so any nonexpired items are put to good use,” Hunt said. “Shelf stable donations, such as canned products, snack items, cooking essentials, and toiletries are just a few of the items that are graciously accepted. Those wishing to support the pantry can contact the Family Resource Center and we will arrange to accept the donation.”
Information about the pantry, including donation instructions can be found at dcs.k12.oh.us/domain/822 or by calling 740-833-1619.
Hunt added she’s thankful to the local community for continuing to support the pantry and its mission.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the community and residents that we are able to serve,” she said. “I want this to be a safe place for people to come and hopefully be linked with the great resources the county has to offer. … The pantry is here to supplement the amazing work that is already being done in this county to provide Delaware county residents accessible nutrition, and we are thankful to the DCS family and county’s continued support.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.