CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Calling all food donors.
Pantries in the region are finding that their shelves are becoming more and more empty. On any given week, 100 households depend on the Carbondale Pantry for food.
“Now that school started, so those people are, you know, are looking for something they can feed their kids,” pantry volunteer Steve Kania.
With an empty shelf here and there, those who run the Catholic Social Services’ food pantry say they’re one week away from closing its doors.
“Did I expect to see it this empty? Not a chance. Not at all. Did not expect this at all. We’re in pretty rough shape right now,” pantry office supervisor Michelle Santanna said.
In January, they were serving about 200 households. Since then, the need has increased more than 200 percent and they’re now serving 621 households. The shelves need to be stocked with donations like spaghetti sauce, pasta, canned chicken, meats and juice. There is also a need for toiletries.
“People don’t think of toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap,” Santanna said.
The shelves being empty is a result of summertime. The kids are home from school. Plus a lot of people don’t think about donations during the summertime because they’re on vacation.
“Our number in the summertime usually double, sometime triple and that’s a big, big factor,” Santanna said.
Kania has been volunteering for four years. Since the food pantry moved to its new location on River Street nearly a year ago, he says this is the first time they’re struggling to keep the shelves filled.
“Immensely since we’re here. We’re more visible here,” Kania said.
Catholic Social Services also runs another pantry in Scranton. They tell Eyewitness News they are in the same boat as Carbondale.