Stuff the Bus: Omaha food pantries say need still great
6 News WOWT collecting donations Thursday
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - When families make their way through the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry they usually have some choices to make.
Hundreds of families get their groceries from the food pantry, and organizers tell 6 News there is a growing need for help in our community.
“I think food prices are a lot of it... but utilities — everything went way up, and they’re going to take heat over food,” said Karen Langan, who volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul Food pantry.
Even when the pantry is closed, there’s a lot of activity going on there.
“Every time we’re working in here, some volunteer comes in with ‘Oh I got 50 boxes of pasta because it was on sale.’ And you know they’re just doing that out of their pocket,” Langan said.
She has been volunteering at the food pantry for 32 years.
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but I’ve always been a nurse — that kind of leads you to want to take care of people,” she said.
Gary Henningsen has volunteered there since 2008 and said he expects to see more families that are having trouble finding their daily bread over the next few weeks.
”Especially prior to holidays, it’s pretty busy here and you see people,” he said. “Some are very very sheepish about it. They don’t feel like they should be doing it, but they have to because they just don’t have the food.”
Pantry Manager Gayle Reyes said the need for the food there is growing.
“We have homeless people who need specific kinds of food that they don’t have,” she said. “Maybe they don’t have a can opener anywhere to cook. There’s the working poor, and people everywhere between that. So there’s a greater need now, definitely.”
Volunteers work hard to keep food on the shelves, and many of the volunteers give more than time. There are around 100 volunteers moving boxes, stocking shelves — they make the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry go.
“They’re so dedicated, and we have people who started the pantry 32 years ago who still come and work. And they all come, they all cooperate, they work hard. We absolutely would not have a pantry without the volunteers.”
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