There's a new face to food pantry recipients. That's the message from Quincy's Madonna House. They say they are seeing more people who need help, and now - their shelves are in danger of being completely empty.
"I lost a job, and I just needed help getting back on my feet."
Christine Amsten says - when that happened - the Food Pantry at Madonna House helped her keep going for herself and for her four year old son Tristan. "I don't have to worry about where my son's going to get his next meal, and I don't have to worry about him being taken away because he can't eat," she said.
Interim Executive Director Joanne Dedert says they're seeing a significantly higher number of people than just six months ago. She says many of these people are familiar with the food pantries around the community, but in a completely different capacity. "Recently we've seen folks come in who - a couple of months ago - were giving to us, were donating to us. And now they're part of the food pantry," she said.
Dedert says the economy has played a large part in the food pantry's popularity. She says many of their recipients have lost jobs in the past several months, or have had their hours or pay drastically cut. And rising food costs are also making it more difficult to keep food on the table. EDERT SAYS THE ECONOMY HAS PLAYED A LARGE PART IN THE FOOD PANTRY'S "We all have to budget differently, and these folks - and imagine, if you are on less hours or making less dollars per hour, that you have to cut your budget even more," she said.
Amsten encourages anyone who can give - to do so. Because she knows what it's like to have been there.
"The people that come in are very grateful for what they do here."
The food pantry is in need of non-perishable food items such as pasta, rice, tuna, peanut butter, jelly, vegetable, fruit, canned stews, and marinara sauce.
You can drop of donations at Madonna House, located at 405 South 12th Street in Quincy.
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