Food Pantry Volunteers Work to Provide for Those in Need

For many, the term "season of giving" is just a cliché; but for those in need, it is the answer to their cries for help.

Thousands of people now depend on that kind help just to make ends meet, and it is why we hold our Share Your Christmas Food Drive every year.

"The numbers keep increasing and increasing all the time," said Gwen Salazar, the pantry coordinator of the Wesley United Methodist Church.

Each week, the volunteers at the Wesley United Methodist Church on Gollihar near Weber prepare for this day.

"We started out with 400 and something last year, and this year we're almost double," Salazar said. "There's so many people that need help."

Volunteers work at the food pantry, handing out bags of food to families hard hit by a tough economy.

"One Thursday, we had eight new clients that went in for work, and the work was not there. They just lost their jobs and they came and we have a lot of tears," Salazar said. "Crying on our shoulders, you know, because of the conditions."

"We're living off Social Security," said Donna Johnson, a food pantry client. "It doesn't go very far."

Johnson has been going to the food pantry for some time.

"I have two boys, and they're having a hard time right now," Johnson said. "Plus one of them is married with two kids, and we're trying to take care of them too."

Food pantries like the one at Wesley United Methodist Church depend on the local food bank for their generosity. They are able to buy food at a substantial discount, and thus provide it to those who need it most; people like Donna Johnson.

"We walk away with enough to take care of us," Johnson said.

No one knows better than the volunteers at Wesley United, that every penny counts; and while some pantry's are still handing out food, others say their supplies are gone. It is a monthly cycle that volunteers say only seems to grow.


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