Food Pantry has hunger pains
The truck was the third in a week for the Center where it hard to keep up with the struggling economy.
"Client intake has gone up tremendously," Annie Eldridge said. Eldridge is in her second stint with the center and says she has spent about 10 years total with the Center. About 600 families get food from the Center each month. "We have lots of different people come here. People on Social Security, with disabilities, single parents, the working poor."
When residents of Mexico heard that the Center was in trouble, they showed up with boxes of food.
"I was surprised at the reaction," Eldridge said. "We must have had 25 or more people show up and donate today. One woman even came, I had 15 people there waiting for help and she just reached through and handed me an envelope. I didn't know what it was, but I looked inside and it was a check made out to the Center."
Residents even showed up after the kitchen closed for the day. Beth Lower showed up with a box filled with food. "I was going to the store and I thought I should pick up some things (for the Center)," Lower said. Lower admitted she had never used the Center. "I am just blessed and able enough to help so I thought that's what I should do."
The Center provides families with essentials like rolls, boxed and canned goods, protein sources, and hygiene products like shaving cream and soap. "I have food allergies," said one man. "I'm allergic to eggs and can't eat pasta that is produced in the same factory as egg noodles. They used to not differentiate but now they know and look on the box, it is right on the label."
"I come here everyday," says Marietta Martin. "Not just food, but clothes, they have some real sharp items here and people are so nice to donate."
Martin takes-in homeless children. "One boy named Jason Maxwell. I don't know why his parents wouldn't let him live there. I never heard a bad word from him." Jason graduated from high school this year and is now in the Marine Corps. "He is a real sharp dresser. Everyday he would go in a suit, and most of that came from the Help Center."
The Center aided Martin when her house burned down two years ago. Almost every piece of furniture in her house was bought from the Center's thrift store. "I know it doesn't look like it now, but I lost everything. The Center really helped me get back."
"We try to help when we can," Eldridge said. "We try to not turn anybody back. If you need something, come in and ask, we might not be able to help, but we are always trying."
Trying, even when the cupboard isn't full.