Pantry in 'critical state' (Lorrie Ross, Clay County Progress)
As stories are being shared about some Americans hoarding food and other supplies, there are many who do not have enough to feed their families from week to week.
Yet, while the need for food is increasing, local resources to acquire additional food for those people are decreasing.
Fred Sickel, of the Clay County Food Pantry, said the group currently has enough funds to buy food, both there is not enough food to purchase. "We are in a critical state," Sickel explained on Sunday, March 22. "Manna and Ingles are not able to supply us with as much as they usually can because of their shortage."
Meanwhile, clients have increased. According to Clay County Food Pantry President Bill Rice, 334 boxes of food were distributed via a drive-through food box delivery last Friday, March 20. Sickel and the others food pantry volunteers are hoping some people will help other Clay County residents by donating a little of their extra food or buying a few extra cans.
Food collection boxes have been placed inside Hayesville's Ingles so people may donate items like canned meat, vegetables, fruit, peanut butter, paper goods and other non-perishables. Sickel said someone will get if from Ingles on a regular basis.
In addition, food donations may be made at the food pantry during its regular operating hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. Sickel said volunteers will be available for donations only from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursdays, but Thursdays are not food distribution days.
"We do plan to stay open during this time of crisis because we are an essential service to the community's needy families," Sickel added. "To hold our face-to-face contact and maintain our social distancing standards, the drive through efforts will continue as long as needed. We wear gloves and we take precautions to protect everyone."
The Clay County Food Pantry is located at 2278 Hinton Center Drive in Hayesville.