Food pantry remains busy, sets eye toward expansion

With the Cache Community Food Pantry remaining busy thanks in part to the economic downturn, facility director Matthew Whittaker said an expansion project for the pantry will soon be underway. Whittaker said the pantry is gearing up for a major fundraising drive because the current facility is running out of room for the continually increasing activity it sees. He said the proposed project would be building a new warehouse that connects to the existing warehouse. That would not only give the pantry more capacity, Whittaker said, but make the facility more efficient. Architects estimate the project would cost between $350,000 and $400,000, and while money has been set aside for the expansion, Whittaker said there will be a large fundraising campaign. It continues to be a busy summer for the facility as the number of families needing help has increased drastically since the start of the economic downturn. Whittaker said the number of families in need may have peaked, however, with between 135 and 145 families seeking help each week. He also said there’s been a shift in the demographics of those seeking help from the food pantry as more Hispanics have been coming in. “For the first time the amount of Hispanics are starting to surpass the other ethnicities,” Whittaker said, adding that those in the production lines of work are among the hardest hit. Whittaker said there are also a lot of elderly people who are seeking help. Their food is taken to the Cache Senior Citizens Center where it is distributed. Whittaker said he appreciates all the contributions from the public.

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