Food pantries seeing record demand increase over holiday season this year, and are looking for community assistance to help meet increasing needs

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PITTSBURG, Kans. — The holiday season is always a busy time and many non profits are already seeing an increase in demand. This year, the need non-profits are seeing are becoming trickier to meet.

This has places like Wesley House exploring new avenues to help make sure everyone can have something on their plate.

“We’ve had a lot of people still reach out that they’re going to need some extra help this year. They don’t usually get to plan ahead wise of what they’re going to be able to provide for their families, so they rely on us a lot to make sure they have enough food to get through the holidays,” said Hillary Houston, Wesley House Exec. Director.

As the country gets into the midst of the holiday season, it’s normal to see a greater demand at places like food pantries. But this year is different than most, places like Wesley House have seen a bigger need than in 2020 or years past.

“We did see a little bit of an increase, but not as much as we’ve seen this year, I mean it definitely spiked. We’ve seen a lot of new families come through compare to years past,” said Houston.

Things only get more complicated thanks to supply chain issues. Major providers, which many pantries like Wesley House depend on, are having a difficult time meeting normal orders.

“We go through the Kansas Food Bank so we do have a shortage of what we’ve been able to order and get through them. They’re impacted about what they’re able to get in and so that filters down through to the other different food banks, so we order what we need, and they can fill the order as much as they can, but it’s never a full order,” said Houston.

To help meet this new demand, Wesley House is looking to fellow community members.

“We rely on our local donors right now. We’ve reached out to different places that we don’t normally have to reach out to that have been willing to have employee drives or campaigns. It means a lot to us to see people come in and give a little, whatever they can, just to help somebody else out,” said Houston.

Of course, it goes without saying: food pantries are always welcoming new donations, big or small. Wesley House themselves accept them from nine to four.

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