Another Problem for Food Pantries


August 19th, 2020

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Juan Diego Center, Catholic Charities,
Photo by Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

OMAHA – Unemployment rate has skyrocketed the number of people requesting groceries from food pantries by leaps and bounds.

As precautionary measures, together a local pantry has to distribute food in a form of drive-thru and on any given day, the car line will extend west on Leavenworth street few blocks.

With the high demand for food, food pantries face a problem as difficult as keeping the shelves full.

Eric Crawford, CEO of Heart Ministry Center increased the hours of operation from five to six days, and from 12 to 14 hours a day. The amount of food going out the door it is much more after the pandemic.

Juan Diego Center.
Photo by Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

Omaha Catholic Charities, another larger food pantry, in south Omaha, with more donations in means more food to hand out and a larger storage room is needed.

Mikaela Schuele from Catholic Charities says they are not turning down any donations, but it requires extra work to run the pantry and the volunteer work is crucial.

Catholic Charities was able to get a 53 feet reefer in their parking lot, where they can store produces and frozen goods.

Reefer at Chatolic Cherities.
Photo by Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

Before getting the reefer, they had to reach out to schools and other places where they could have access to walking coolers and freezers.

Pantries are minimizing the risk for their clients to get COVID-19, by loading the food in the trunks when clients come to pick up.

Some others even started a delivery program, while fighting with the lack of infrastructure for storage.

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