DANVILLE — Food pantries from one side of Danville to the other are experiencing a common trend: the demand for food continues to rise.
“You’d think you’d see the same people month after month needing food all the time,” said Chuck Brooks, director of the Danville Area Food Pantry. “The thing that amazes me — we see between 50 and 60 new families a month that have never been here.”
Brooks said the pantry serves between 300 and 500 families per month. The pantry is housed in the Danville Township building on North Walnut Street.
A few blocks north, the St. James Food Pantry is seeing higher usage as well. St. James pastor, the Rev. Randall Robinson, said a year ago, they were serving about 300 families. Now, they serve 400.
Brooks said the supplies at the Danville Area Food Pantry are dwindling.
“On hand, I would say we’ve got a month’s supply of food,” Brooks said. “We never really have more than that except when months we do a food drive.”
Brooks said the pantry does two big drives each year. The next one is the Frostbite Marathon Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. During the drive a collection truck will be stationed at County Market Towne Centre, with drop-offs at the two other County Market stores.
Brooks said the pantry hopes to collect enough food in November to have about a month and a half’s supply.
The other major drive for the Danville Area Food Pantry starts in May and is through the U.S. Postal Service and letter carriers.
Brooks said there are a lot of groups in the community that do food drives for the pantry.
“Every little bit that comes in helps,” he said.
He said during the Frostbite Marathon, some people may be able to give only a can of green beans. Another person might leave a shopping cart full of groceries.