(Photo by Gabe Licht)
"In June, we gave out the highest number of food pantry packages in a month that we ever have in my 22 years here," Clay County UDMO Director Anita Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen believes individuals' finances are not stretching as far as they did in the past.
"It's people trying to live on the same income with increased costs," Jorgensen said. "In a nutshell, that's what we're running into."
As a nonprofit, UDMO is also operating on a limited income and any green the organization receives would be appreciated.
That includes fresh garden produce.
"We appreciate fresh produce because it actually helps with our quantities that come out of the pantry at that time," Jorgensen said. "Our food pantry supplies can stretch further because we have that. So it makes a big difference for us, too. We're very grateful for whatever we receive."
Clients can receive any available fresh veggies on a weekly basis. Jorgensen says the donations are well-received.
"People come in and have a good time picking out different produce," she said. "They exchange recipes while they're here talking. They exchange ideas on how to preserve it and what things can be made with it. It becomes a social event and that happens every time people bring it in."
While vegetables supplement the items in the food pantry, several staples are in short supply.
Such items include all types of soup, chili beans, pasta, rice, potatoes, canned meats, mac n' cheese, peas, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup, shampoo and canned fruits.
"As you can see, we can use almost anything except peanut butter, jelly, corn and green beans," Jorgensen said.
Cash donations are also welcome.
"The big thing that worries me is the money I've had to spend for groceries," Jorgensen said. "Cash donations would help. Because we were buying groceries, that fund has gone down."
Donations of any kind may be taken to the local office at 407 E. Third St. Anyone with questions may call the office at 262-7409.