Caring Center’s food pantry in ‘famine’ stage

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Caring Center Executive Director Teresa Hanners in the food pantry. (Submitted photo)

By Chris Bavender

The Caring Center in Boone County is looking for help. The pantry is in a “famine” stage with supplies running low.

“We are a client-choice food pantry, so our families get points based around My Plate on the food pyrmaid of what they should be eating. We try to have a variety of nutritious things in each category to choose from, but right now we have a problem with that,” said Teresa Hanners, executive director of Caring Center. “I did that way before it was the trendy thing to do. I wanted to address food insecurity in a different way so it benefits families and they learn to make healthy choices. We’ve been doing it that way for about 15 years. It took a lot of research, but now it’s a well-oiled machine.”

Hanners said the ebb and flow of donations is typical; they are higher around the holidays but tend to fall off after that.

“It is kind of what happens to us every year, but I am noticing some changes this year,” she said. “Normally donations of green beans are 10 to 1 over other items, but I am almost out of them, which is really crazy.”

Other items in addition to green beans the pantry needs:

• Spinach

• Pineapple

• 100 percent fruit juice

• Cooking Oil

• Evaporated milk

• Powdered milk

• Cereal

• Pudding

The Caring Center serves about 400 families each month, anywhere from 1,200 to 1,600 people. Last year, the pantry collected 160.5 tons of food and distributed all of it.

“We try to really impact families in a bit of a different way and really focus on where they are and help stabilize them and create a path to self-sufficiency,” Hanners said.

Hanners is asking residents to pick up a few extra items each time they go to the grocery store and donate them to the Caring Center.

“If everyone in Boone County bought a few extras for us each week, it would make our lives so much easier and it would help people,” she said.

Akards True Value will host a donation drive for the Caring Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29 in the Boone Village parking lot. Donations of canned foods, clothing and other household items will be accepted.

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