A local food pantry is looking for donations to help feed county residents through the coming holidays.
Farmer Food Bank at First Presbyterian Church in Van Buren is in need of both food and money, said John Starks, director for the food bank.
On Monday and Tuesday alone, volunteers gave food boxes to 90 families, with 20 of those being new visitors to the pantry, Starks said.
About 60 new families, just under 400 families total, received boxes from the food pantry in September, Starks said. He is expecting to feed another 400 in October and up to 500 a month in November and December, he said.
"We’re spending about $3,000 a month," Starks said.
But Starks said the food program now only has about $1,000 in its account.
"We’ve never been as low as we are now," Starks said.
Organizers are expecting to receive grants for the food program in several months, but need money now for the expected increase in families looking for some needed help during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Starks said.
"We’re working with more volunteers than we’ve ever worked with and we’re getting more food than we ever have, but we’re seeing more clients than ever before," Starks said.
And while the program has enough food for regular boxes, they could use donations of turkeys and side items for the holiday meals, he said.
One special donor had given turkeys to the program in past years, but the food bank hasn’t been able to reach the donor this year, Starks said.
First Presbyterian Church also is accepting donations of clothes and household goods, which will be given to those in need Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the church.
A free pancake breakfast will be held at the same time as the giveaway, Starks said. The event is open to all Crawford County residents, he said.
Food and clothing donations will be accepted at the church during the food pantry operating hours, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. All contributions are tax deductible.
For more information or to donate, call (479) 474-2375. To take advantage of food services, visit the church food bank at Jefferson and South 10th streets.