OMAHA, Nebraska – When families visit the food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul, they are typically presented with a number of options from which to choose.
The food pantry provides goods for hundreds of families, and the organizers have told 6 News that there is an increasing demand for assistance in our community as it expands.
According to Karen Langan, a volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Food pantry, “I think food prices are a lot of it… but utilities — everything went way up, and they’re going to take heat over food.”
Even when the pantry is locked, there is a significant amount of activity taking place within its confines.
“Every time we’re working in this room, a different volunteer walks in and says, ‘Oh, I got fifty boxes of pasta because it was on sale.’ And you know that they’re just doing that out of the kindness of their own hearts,” Langan told me.
It’s been 32 years since she started helping out at the food pantry as a volunteer.
She explained, “I’ve always been a nurse, and I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but I do know that it kind of causes you to want to take care of people.”
Gary Henningsen, who has been a volunteer there since 2008, stated that he anticipates seeing an increased number of families who are having difficulty locating their daily bread over the course of the next few weeks.
He stated, “Especially in the weeks leading up to the holidays, this place is quite busy, and you see people.” “Many people are acting quite cowardly about it. They have no choice but to engage in the activity despite the fact that they do not believe it is something they should be doing.
Pantry Manager Gayle Reyes stated that there is an increasing demand for the food that is available there.
“We have homeless people that need specific sorts of food that they don’t have,” she added. “We have folks who are homeless who need food.” It’s possible that they don’t have a can opener in any of the places where they cook. People can fall into one of two categories: the working poor or the working middle class. Therefore, there is an even bigger need now, unquestionably.”
Volunteers put forth a lot of effort to ensure that there is always food available, and many of those volunteers contribute more than just their time. The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry operates thanks to the assistance of approximately one hundred volunteers who move boxes and stock shelves.
“They are extremely dedicated, and we have folks who established the pantry 32 years ago who still come and work here,” said the manager of the food pantry. They all come, they all cooperate, and they all put in a lot of effort. Without the help of the volunteers, there is no way that we could have a pantry.