Pictured: Alice Food Pantry volunteer Stephen Campbell stacks cans of soup. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Pantry gets busiest at the end of the month

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Volunteers opened plastic cases of canned goods and stacked soup cans in a row with each label facing the front of the shelf at the Alice Food Pantry Tuesday.

With the holidays around the corner, Alice Food Pantry volunteers encourage local residents and those in the surrounding areas to give any non-perishable food item to the pantry.

"We are in need of canned fruit," said Stephen Campbell, one of the volunteers. "We run out of the pinto beans the most."

Volunteer Bill Singer said the Alice Food Pantry sees more people at the end of the month because that's when individuals on government assistance are running low on food stamps and are in a tight budget.

"We'll be light during the first of the month, but we get to the middle and end of the month and it gets busy," Singer said.

On Tuesday, the food pantry helped about 30 people. He said that on some of the busiest days, the pantry has helped out about 100 people. Singer said that any staple such as rice, macaroni, baby food and toiletries go quick.

"I can tell you that one of the things we can use is baby food," he said.

The food pantry is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. and is located behind the Trash and Treasure resale shop on Main Street. Part of the proceeds from the shop also go towards buying food for the pantry. H-E-B is one of several businesses that donate food items such as baked goods and bread.

"H-E-B does a lot for the food pantry," said Mrs. Taylor, a volunteer.

On Nov. 10, the Boy Scouts of America will be picking up canned goods and non-perishable food items. The food drives assist food pantries throughout the country to replenish the food supply.

Ken Adams, another volunteer, said the food pantry will take any donation.

"Most any canned good is appropriate," he said. "Most of the schools around this time have food drives."

Singer said the food pantry has regulars, but everyone in need is welcomed.

"We never turn anyone away," he said.

"Some that come here are sad because they have to come here, but I talk to them and try to put a smile on their face."