More residents of Lamar County made use of the Downtown Food Pantry in the first portion of 2019 than in years past.
“We’re charting a ten percent increase in both households served and total number of clients for the first four months of this year,” said Executive Director Allan Hubbard.
Some 8,131 people in 2,721 households were served from January to April of 2018, with similar numbers in 2017. This year, 9,019 people in 2,981 households have received food.
Pantry officials aren’t certain if there’s an increase in need or more awareness in the community about food availability through their twice-per-week serving days.
“Whatever’s causing the increase, we want the Paris area to know our board of directors and the financial supporters of the pantry are committed to providing groceries to those who want to come,” Hubbard said.
In addition to canned items, the pantry distributes fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins like eggs and meat, and grains such as rice and pasta to anyone who signs up. Interested persons should bring a photo ID with proof of Lamar County residence plus the names and birthdates of anyone who lives in their household.
Any Lamar County resident can receive free groceries every two weeks for a total of 26 times per year if they choose. The pantry is open Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 p.m. and Thursdays 8:30-11:30 a.m.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities and every $10 donated provides 40 healthy meals. Visit their website, downtownfoodpantry.org, or follow them on Facebook for more information.
Downtown Food Pantry is located one block northwest of the Lamar County Courthouse at 124 W. Cherry St.