Salvation Army pantry in need of food items for needy
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 26, 2013 1:46 PM
Salvation Army Lt. Kenny Igleheart places recently donated food on the almost bare shelves in the organization's pantry. Although the pantry has plenty of green beans and, for now, some other vegetables, volunteers say they need more substantial items to make food baskets for needy families.
The Salvation Army is turning away hungry people because its shelves are bare.
Salvation Army commander Lt. Kenny Igleheart said the pantry only has green beans -- not enough to feed a family or anyone.
"We're in drastic need of food," Lt. Julie Igleheart said. "If you sit a plate of green beans in front of a child, they're going to eat it because they're hungry, but they like a variety. And so do adults.
"We also need Spaghetti O's, pasta, ravioli, beef stew -- different things like that, something that's substantial to kind of go along with the green beans and the corn and things like that. We're in dire need of dry goods, too.
"We need canned meats -- tuna, ham, chicken, Vienna sausages. Things like that are really substantial protein for a person to eat on."
There are a couple of reasons why the Salvation Army has no food in its pantry.
"We've had an overabundance of people come in just needing food," Mrs. Igleheart said. "We as the Salvation Army try not to turn anybody away. But when we have nothing on our shelves, we can't give something we don't have."
Igleheart said another reason for the shortage of food is a major food drive that was held a year ago this past spring that didn't happen this spring. So there was less food to get the Salvation Army through the summer, and it ran short.
Igleheart said the Salvation Army usually gives out food to 60 families each month. But there have been some months recently when that number has jumped to 150.
"I don't like putting a food box together that has just green beans and corn," he said. "We want to have a little bit of everything."
"We need something people can make a whole meal of. For example, pasta and sauce makes a substantial meal," Mrs. Ingleheart said.
Igleheart said dry beans and rice are also good because they don't take up a lot of room in the food box, but will make several meals.
The Salvation Army has purchased some food to put in the boxes, but more is still needed. In addition to giving out food to the hungry, the organization has other ongoing services such as rent assistance, clothing and shelter, to finance.
Mrs. Igleheart said people are coming in for food for a variety of reasons -- loss of a job, medical emergency, just moving here, food stamps not lasting through the end of the month.
"I also look at the older generation we have here in Goldsboro, and I don't want them to go hungry either," Mrs. Igleheart said. "Being on a fixed income, sometimes they have to choose between food and their medicine."
She said a family may have a special needs child who needs medicine. In some cases, they also might have to choose medication over food. But that child still needs to eat.
"When people have to go hungry because we have nothing to give them, it breaks my heart," Mrs. Igleheart said.
"It hurts definitely," Igleheart said. "That's the last thing we want to have to say is, 'Sorry I can't help you.' So we try to give them some other resources that may be available in the community."
Mrs. Igleheart said a lot of people will think more about the Salvation Army at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"We're thankful for that," she said. "But also on the other hand, hunger is not just during Thanksgiving or Christmas, but all year long.
"Every can of food helps. Someone might say that one can of ravioli is not going to help anybody, but it will be a meal for a hungry person. Or a bag of beans, you can stretch it out to four or five meals."
And it's not just food to make a lunch or dinner. The Salvation Army includes breakfast items in the food boxes, if there are some on the pantry shelves. This includes boxes of cereal, oatmeal and toaster pastries.
Anyone wanting to donate food may drop it off at the Salvation Army at 610 N. William St.
For more information about donating food, call the Salvation Army at 919-735-4811.