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Pantry will take all the help they can get

Pete French from the Prescott Area Food Pantry, Inc., talked about the need the pantry fills for Prescott residents during the June 13 Prescott Kiwanis meeting. Photo by Jason Schulte.

PRESCOTT--Pete French didn’t mince words when he spoke to Prescott Kiwanis June 13 on the status of the Prescott Area Food Pantry, Inc.

“We are always begging, we need to beg, we have to beg,” the director said. “...Because in a few months, I’m unsure of where my food is coming from.”

Why was French begging? Increased numbers, that’s why.

“In the last five years, the pantry has seen a 100 percent increase in senior citizens,” he said. “A forty-seven percent increase in those up to 64 and a 17 percent increase in children.”

The pantry served 716 households in 2012,  176 seniors, 1,003 other adults under 64 and 1,179 children. Last year was also noteworthy for the pantry, as due to government regulations, the food pantry had to split from the Prescott Area Churches Association and change its name to the food pantry (it was previously the food shelf).

One-hundred fifty-four families living in the Prescott School District are signed up to use the pantry, which equals over 300 people. French said, when visitors come in, they have to fill out some paperwork, which details their income. Individuals making $1,770 a month and a family of four earning up to $3,500 can qualify. The rest of the information is self-declared.

French said local organizations such as Allina Health System, Knights of Columbus, Ellsworth Eastern Star and Salvation Army have contributed over the years, but they are always looking for more.

“A lot of people are hungry,” he said, as the pantry goes through between 6,000 and 7,000 pounds of food every month.

For more please read the June 26 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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