October 16, 2008

McLean County food pantry calls on community for help, Part 2

By Danielle Abbott

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series on the McLean County Resource Center and their food pantry service. They were notified in February 2008 that McLean County is one of three North Dakota counties with a hunger issue, and the supply is not meeting the demand for food assistance. For the past 20 years, the McLean County Resource Center has been putting food on the tables of county residents who are in need. Whether it is a new resident trying to get on their feet, or a family with unforeseen bills, the center is there to help with emergency food baskets and a food commodity program. In February 2007, the resource center was notified that McLean County is one of three North Dakota counties with a hunger issue. Client services advocate Sheila Vander Wal was surprised to hear that McLean County was considered to have a hunger issue. She said that food has become a serious issue, as food and gas prices continue to rise, yet wages stay the same. Executive Director Jenell Olson explained that the number of requests for food assistance in the county has doubled in the last three years, but food and monetary donations are not increasing to meet those needs. The fear now is that with a major hunger issue in McLean County, and a lack of assistance with government funding and donations, the food pantry may have to close.


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