JAMESTOWN – The Salvation Army food pantry in Jamestown will be temporarily closed starting Friday, October 21, due to a shortage of donations and an increase in the number of families and individuals requesting assistance, according to Maj. Judy Lowder, corps officer with the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army food pantry will be closed until Wednesday, October 26.
Lowder said many of the families and individuals have never come to the Salvation Army for help before.
“Right now if families were to come in, we wouldn’t have enough to give them a full, complete box,” he said. “We do our best to give them enough for several meals to hold them over until their food stamps come in or they can have other resources available to them.”
He said what is left on the shelves is for extreme emergencies only. He said the Salvation Army hopes to receive a shipment from the Great Plains Food Bank by Wednesday, October 26.
The food boxes are recyclable bags provided by Gate City Bank. Depending on the size of each family, The Salvation Army tries to provide at least two or three of the bags with the food available.
“The food bags or boxes are per household size,” says Lowder. “What we’re trying to do is have fruit, vegetables, tinned meat. We do our best to get pasta and spaghetti sauce and then as best we can if we can provide macaroni and cheese and cereal, and just some other boxed items.”
If perishable food items are available, he said the Salvation Army adds those to the bags as well.
“Right now if someone were to come in, we’ve got a frozen hamburger, but that’s all we’ve got,” he said.
Lowder, who has been with the Salvation Army in Jamestown since 2019, said this is the first time the organization has had to close the food pantry in the three years she has been there. He said the cost of food has increased and people need to take care of their families as well.
“It’s also harder for them to make sure they have enough to make ends meet for their family,” he said.
He said the food pantry is only available to a client every 30 days. To be eligible to receive a food box, individuals must live in Stutsman County and provide a current and valid ID showing proof of residency in the county. Individuals must also complete an application to receive a food box each time.
Non-perishable items include pasta, cereal, peanut butter, rice, soup and tinned meat, fruit and vegetables. Hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, shampoo and feminine hygiene products are also needed.
When the food pantry reopens, the hours of operation are between 9 am and noon and between 2 and 4 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about the Salvation Army, Lowder said it is available 24/7.
“They can always reach out. I will answer as best I can,” he said. “If they want to meet, I can do that too. We’re here to serve the community the best we can and that’s what we’re trying to do.”