LOVELL LAKE FOOD CENTER collected 42 bags of non-perishable food as part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations and presented them to the Wakefield Food Pantry on Friday, Nov. 22 (l-r): in front are Store Owner Harry Wesson, Assistant Manager Becky Perry, Food Pantry members Howie Knight, Ginny Schweitzer, and Janet Miller; in the back is Jake Dodier. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
December 05, 2013WAKEFIELD — Through Nov. 21 demand at the Wakefield Food Pantry is up 22 percent, according to figures provided by Treasurer Howie Knight.
To date the pantry has served 9,479 individuals, compared with 7,764 for the same period in 2012. The average number of individuals increased from 165 in 2012 to 202 in 2013, and the number of meals served went from 69,876 in 2012 to 85,311 this year.
The most significant increase of clients came among individuals under 18 years old, where there was a 19.6 percent increase, from 2,598 in 2012 to 3,107 in 2013, Individuals over 60 years old grew 10.6 percent, from 1,701 to 1,882.
There was some good news as well, Knight said. Expenditures for food during the same period fell, dropping from $45,750 last year to $22,861 this year. This is due to having more volunteers making more frequent trips to the N.H. Food Bank in Manchester this year. There are now 70 volunteers helping out at the pantry and many of them are willing to make the food runs, saving the cost of having a truck make less frequent trips.
Food donations are also up. As part of its 20th Anniversary Celebrations, the Lovell Lake Food Center in Sanbornville encouraged customers to donate non-perishable foods in specially marked bags. A total of 42 bags full of food had been collected by the market by Friday evening, Nov. 22, when the bags were turned over to the pantry.