The community’s response was “incredible,” shelter Director Dennis Marble said Monday morning.
Shelter staff members and volunteers were busy throughout the weekend taking in donations from organizations and community members. No tally was kept on the number of donations or amount of food taken in, according to Marble, but the shelves along three walls of the basement-run pantry went from being about 85 percent empty to full within 48 hours.
“It’s one more thank you in a very long line,” Marble said. “We’re able to do what we do because of the community.”
The shelter provides about 36,000 meals per year to its residents and distributes food to about 120 struggling area families each month.
Marble said the shelter was buoyed by the support it saw over the weekend, and that this stock of food should keep the pantry well stocked until next month.
On May 10, the National Letter Carriers’ Food Drive will help stock food pantries across the country. On that day, mail carriers and volunteers will collect nonperishable food items left near mailboxes or in post offices. That food is then distributed to area food banks and pantries.
Last year, that drive gathered more than 74 million pounds of food nationally, according to the National Association of Letter Carriers.
“It’s almost like all we have to do is ask, and needs are answered,” Marble said.