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Helping for Hugs

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On the 3rd Saturday of each month, the LaMoure County Food Pantry is open from 10am to Noon. According to Janet Spiese, the food pantry is able to distribute to 18 – 20 families a month, reaching approximately 14 children. The food pantry has 16 volunteers, including local church Pastors and 2 members of each Pastor’s congregation. Janet spends around 16 – 17 hours a month making sure the food pantry stays up and running for the community. Food donations come in from church groups, schools, 4-H groups and individuals. One of the food pantry’s biggest champions has been Trinity Lutheran Church of Litchville.

Sometimes during open hours the food pantry is able to offer bars, snacks and beverages for families while they are waiting to be helped. Janet noticed that when they were able to offer snacks, the families waiting felt more at ease and relaxed. In addition to food distribution, the LaMoure County Food Pantry has developed a back pack and food donation program for the LaMoure School. Not only do they collect and distribute backpacks to kids in need, but they also give each child a bag of snacks each Friday to take home for the weekend.

The food pantry has seen a definite increase in families needing to utilize the food pantry. The distribution amount varies from month to month, but most recently the distribution was about 1,600 pounds of food in one month. Janet has stated that the food pantry is a passion of hers. She says that God has been her inspiration for the last 14 years working at the food pantry. Her favorite part about working at the food pantry is when people give her a hug and say “Thank you” or “God Bless.”

The biggest need the food pantry has right now is a larger space and community awareness of how much time, effort and money it takes to keep the food pantry running. The food pantry has been able to raise some community awareness through their Facebook page, local newspaper advertisements, and thanks to Pastor Denise for making announcements in church. Currently, the food pantry is unable to provide laundry soap, dish soap, or cleaning soap due to a lack of funding.

At the present time, the food pantry is in need of the following: canned fruits (pineapple and mandarin oranges), canned vegetables, canned chicken, canned soups (chicken noodle, cream of mushroom), honey, jelly, egg noodles, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, brownie mixes, 100% juice, dry cereal, pasta sauce, personal care Items (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, sizes 1 &3 diapers).