Food pantries seeing increasing need ahead of the holidays: how you can help

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INDIANAPOLIS — Food pantries are seeing a rising number of families reaching out for help ahead of the holiday season.

“We have been very busy,” said Cindy Brown, director of Boulevard Place Food Pantry. “We’re seeing a lot of shoppers. Each time we open, we tend to get one new person who is new to a food pantry ever.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices rose nearly one percent from last month.

“Some of the canned goods are a little more expensive and hygiene products are pricier for us,” Brown said.

Food pantries are struggling to bring in enough donations to help those in need, like Malkia Mungu.

“I don’t have any gas, living in my truck to stay warm on,” Mungu said.

“It breaks my heart that things are so expensive now and it’s on the rise between gas and all your products,” said Lydia Davis, minister at Barnes United Methodist Church. “With the rise of prices in grocery stores, families can’t afford that.”

Davis is the founder of ‘You Feed Them Missional Food Pantry’ and says the need is greater now than ever before. 

“I’m getting a lot more phone calls, especially as we go into the holiday season,” Davis said.

She said monetary and item donations are critical — especially hygiene and feminine products. 

Anything can make a difference and help our community members who need it most. 

“Even if it’s just a smile and a listening ear, I encourage everyone to do that,” Mungu said. “That’s a blessing in itself to someone in my need or anyone else. You don’t know what someone is going through.”

Boulevard Place Food Pantry is open Wednesday 10 a.m. – noon (drive-thru service only), Thursday 10 a.m. – noon and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (in-person client shopping), and Saturday 10 a.m. – noon (in-person shopping) located at 4202 N. Boulevard Place.

St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry is open Tuesday 8am-12pm, Thursday 8am-12pm and 5pm-7pm, Friday 8am-12pm and Saturday 8am-11am. It is located in the Pratt-Quigley Center at 3001 E. 30th Street.

You Feed Them Missional Food Pantry is open every third Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. It is located at 900 W. 30th St., Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Shelters are accepting monetary donations, as well as these items: canned goods, meat, jelly and canned fruit, spaghetti sauce, pasta noodles, crackers, oil, sugar, baking necessities, body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper and paper towels.

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