Bellevue Food Pantry asks for donations as family needs grow

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A small food pantry in Bellevue is asking the community for help.

The Bellevue Pantry has been hit hard recently by an increasing number of families seeking help to put food on the table.

Bellevue Food Pantry officials say donations are leaving faster than they are coming in. This creates a lot of empty shelves. The small pantry has seen more families come in for help.

“We’ve seen an increase in traffic over the past two months, but especially in the past month,” said Jill Connor, associate director of the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership. “We serve on average about 175 family households per month. Last month, we saw 210 households, or around 680 people in need, turn up at the door.

Connor says families who have never sought services before come to the pantry. She says 65 new households came to the pantry last month in search of food.

“The need is constantly increasing, especially in the summer with out-of-school children. Families are really struggling and just trying to figure out where to go for help.

A pantry worker was surprised at the number of people in her community who need help.

“It’s been really busy,” Deanna Wagner said. “I didn’t plan on it being just nonstop. When I started here, the pantry shelves were full. They are not complete at the moment, so in a month there have been a lot of changes.

Pantry officials believe donations spike during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and donating in the summer is not a priority for many.

“In the summer people generally think it’s a slower time, but that’s really when we’re busiest.”

And right now, the Bellevue Food Pantry needs donations to get more food on those shelves.

Donations to the Bellevue Food Pantry can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or call 402-292-2961 to make arrangements. The pantry will come out and pick up the donations.

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