Area food pantries gearing up for holidays

ESCANABA — With the holidays right around the corner, area food pantries are gearing up to help those in need.

Gale St. Martin, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, said the pantry in Gladstone is looking for more personal items to stock the shelves including toothbrushes, deodorant, and facial tissue.

As for food items, St. Martin said the pantry is seeking donations of cereal, pancake mix, canned goods, crackers, macaroni and cheese, sugar, and cooking oil.

In addition, St. Martin said the pantry also welcomes any donations of brown paper bags that are used to pack the items given out.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming soon, St. Martin said numbers of people coming to the pantry and receiving food and other items are increasing tremendously. They usually do about 100 intakes a month.

St. Martin noted she would like to thank all of the people who have donated over the years, whether it was items or monetary, adding it’s important to donate.

“You never know when it will be you coming to us for assistance,” said St. Martin. “We’re here to help them (people) over the hump.”

Anyone interested in donating to the St. Vincent de Paul in Gladstone can visit their client aid office Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food and other items can also be dropped off behind the pantry after hours as well, noted St. Martin.

In Escanaba, Pantry Manager for the St. Vincent de Paul, Barbara Van Ermen, said the demand for food increases as the holiday’s come closer

Needs at the pantry, located at 115 N. 8th St., include canned fruits, pasta, canned ravioli, canned tomatoes, graham crackers, saltine crackers and soup, explained Van Ermen.

Anyone can donate to the pantry by dropping it off at the warehouse from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Van Ermen, adding she is grateful for all of the current donations and efforts put forth throughout the community to help those in need.

“Our community is very, very generous,” said Van Ermen. “They help us, help them.”