There’s no letup in food shelf useWith an economy still in flux, food shelves are often a harbinger of how things stand locally.
With an economy still in flux, food shelves are often a harbinger of how things stand locally.
Pastor James Joseph of Living Waters Fellowship said the food shelf Elijah’s Pantry, located at the church, has seen more people recently. Elijah’s Pantry is service of several churches in the area.
“There’s a lot more people using it,” Joseph said. He said he doesn’t see the trend slowing down anytime soon and local children may be affected more than ever since the switch to a four-day school week in the county means one less meal option each week.
Jenny Cook, director of the Silver Bay Food Shelf, said she has seen a slight decrease in those using the food shelf but it may go up.
“I think it’s been pretty steady,” she said. “In the winter there are more people using it.”
Harvest time is good for filling shelves, Cook said. “A lot of people have brought in fresh produce.”
Last summer, Northshore Mining, Silver Bay’s main employer, closed for three months because of a lack of demand for ore pellets. Over the winter, Northshore began hiring again as demand rose and it hasn’t stopped in both the Silver Bay and Babbitt plants. There were new employees starting this summer.
As for what to donate, Cook said the food shelf “always likes money.” She said the shelf can usually find ways to stretch a dollar. She said other top items that to be donated include canned meats, flour, sugar, and cold cereal.
Rose Kiekhafer of the Two Harbors Food Shelf has seen a 20-percent increase in the amount of people using their facility.
“It’s crazy here,” she said. Kiekhafer said donations have been pretty slim lately.
Topping the list of things needed are personal hygiene items, and health and beauty products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this week that food donations through The Emergency Food Assistance Program increased by $100 million as a result of the Recovery Act, providing additional USDA foods to thousands of food pantries and other emergency feeding organizations across the country.
Food shelf hours
- The Silver Bay Food Shelf is located in the Lake County Service Center in the Mary MacDonald Center. It’s open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 226-4443.
- The Two Harbors Food Shelf is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays at Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency at 2124 10th St. Call 834-2280.
- Elijah’s Pantry is located at Living Waters Fellowship in Two Harbors at 501 Seventh Ave. It is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays and for emergencies. Call 834-4545.
If you go
Free Thanksgiving dinners in the area
- 1 p.m. at United Protestant Church, Horn Street and Outer Drive. Can come an hour early to help out or play games. Call by Monday for reservations and to announce your dish to pass. Church at 226-3973, Maggie at 226-4317, Hilda at 226-4656, or Leah at 226-3095.
- Noon-2 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 227 Third Ave. Call to get on the delivery schedule. George at 834-6492 or Gerri at 834-2972 (834-2380 at night). Call Gerri to get on the volunteer list.
- 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, Canal Park.