Local food pantry says need has increased since pandemic

St. Luke's food pantry in Denison hands out food to those in need, and re-distributes excess donations to other pantries.
St. Luke's food pantry in Denison hands out food to those in need, and re-distributes excess donations to other pantries.(KXII)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Food pantries have seen an increase of need since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But one Texoma food pantry is doing their part to help with the growing need for food, and with the growing need for donations.

“Our need is growing,” said Fr. Don Perschall, rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Perschall started the food pantry at St. Luke’s 10 years ago, and has seen the community’s need drastically increase.

“Basically with just 2 shelves, and today it has evolved into what it is today where we are seeing about 400 people roughly a week,” said Perschall.

Since the pandemic, they are serving about 25% more people every week.

“We have other individuals who are coming who never came before because they are on layoff or they’ve lost their job completely, and for the first time maybe in their entire life, they’re having to come to a food pantry,” said Perschall.

They now have to operate by appointment only.

“We were shut down for about 12 days. We used to be a Monday through Friday operation. Today we are strictly Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said Perschall.

Donations, Perschall says, can be hit or miss.

“People who truly see this need they are actually being more generous. There’s some folks that simply because they’re hunkered down, they’re not bringing donations the way they used to,” said Perschall.

Between local companies donating to St Luke’s and the food provided from the Department of Agriculture, they re-distribute donations to 14 other pantries.

“We then re-distribute them to some other centers here in Grayson County. We re-distribute things that we pick up and we share out among ourselves,” said Perschall.

Their goal to help a neighbor in need goes without judgment in a time of global distress.

“Please, call us. There can be no shame over the fact of what’s happened to us, that is all of us. We’re all involved in this,” said Perschall.

Appointments can be made to pick up food from the shelter by calling the church at 903-465-2630.

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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