Lending a hand
BY ALYSSA MEIER
With nearly one-fifth of visitors to the Underwood food pantry coming from Washburn, one local church is gathering donations to help stock the shared shelves.
About 17 percent of families who have visited the Community Cupboard on Underwood over the last six months have come from Washburn, President Harmony Higbie said. With options limited in Washburn, Higbie said many residents look north in times of need.
Higbie said in the last six months, the Community Cupboard has seen Washburn families 42 times, with 12 kids, 17 adults and five seniors visiting the facility. Washburn United Methodist Pastor Cory Thrall credited the large number to Underwood’s extensive and more readily available pantry.
“People can visit our pantry once every six months, while the Underwood pantry is available twice a month for use,” Thrall said.
Thrall said Washburn’s food pantry, located in the McLean Family Resource Center, isn’t as easy to access, as there are often confidential appointments taking place that keep the doors locked. This will likely improve with the completion of the new resource center, which is expected to be open sometime in 2018. But, Thrall said, Washburn residents still may opt to travel north for their food pantry needs after the new facility opens in town.
“There’s a stigma of going to your own community’s food pantry,” Thrall said. “You’re less likely to be spotted going to Underwood.”