Fort Madison Food Pantry is running low on food and money - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fort Madison Food Pantry is running low on food and money

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Volunteers packing boxes. Volunteers packing boxes.
People being helped in the pantry. People being helped in the pantry.
People packing up food. People packing up food.
Cart filled with food and other toiletries. Cart filled with food and other toiletries.
More than 70 families came in for food and help. More than 70 families came in for food and help.
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Lee County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Iowa and with recent layoffs, residents are having a hard time putting food on the table. They are turning to food pantries and now one site is running low on food and money. Residents said the Fort Madison pantry has a big impact on their life. 

Monday morning, families came in one-by-one, filling up carts with fresh food. Families said this will last them a few weeks. 

"I have children at home and this really helps stretch our food budget a lot," Tami Sampson said. "If I didn't have this, there are days where we would probably have one or two meals." 

Board President Lin Cramer said hundreds of more people are coming in to the pantry and the shelves are not meeting that demand. She says it's been a couple of issues. 

"We've had a hard winter so a lot of construction workers are not getting work and Siemens recently laid off hundreds," Cramer said. "It increases the need." 

Tami Sampson said she and her husband are on disability and they wouldn't get by without this food pantry. 

"It's been a lifesaver," Sampson said, "Coming here is great because the people are so helpful." 

Former food pantry president and current donor George Gaudette said the pantry used to be in a church but has been moved to the United Way Resource Center with the help from the community.

He believes more support is on the way to stock the shelves. 

"When we put out an SOS, we will get some money," Gaudette said. "It's a great community, they do take care of us." 

Cramer said people will not be turned away despite the needs.  

"Oh, absolutely not, that would be the last and very last thing we would do," Cramer said. "We have been able to serve people and no one has left here unhappy."  

More than 70 people were helped Monday morning and organizers said they expect that number to rise over the next few weeks. 

The food pantry will meet with local grocery stores and restaurants to buy food at reduced rates. 

Food can be dropped off at the pantry on 3421 Avenue L in Fort Madison during pantry hours. 

Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 273 or brought into the pantry during normal hours. 

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