Donations at MUST Cherokee are down, which Program Director Kim Loesing said is common during the summer.
Loesing said many donations to MUST come from local schools and Scout troops and when those organizations don’t meet or are in session, donations tend to drop off.
The organization, she added, recently has been putting out “special pleas” for meat, specifically canned meats.
“We’ve just been amazed at the response,” she said.
In May, the organization served 1,740 individuals in 1,062 families. Also, another 2,503 individuals received bread, 1,324 received clothing, 221 received infant supplies and 1,192 individuals received 12,174 pounds of food.
Loesing added that if they counted the organization’s education and employment center clientele, they would have served a total of 1,998 people last month.
In the height of the economic meltdown, Loesing said MUST would see more repeat clients, but they are now seeing more new faces.
She said that could possibly be an indicator that people could be out of work or in need of food for a shorter period of time.
Managers at Timothy’s Cupboard in southeast Cherokee near Woodstock also need donations.
Norman Grossman, the co-manager of the cupboard based out of Timothy Lutheran Church, said they are averaging well over the typical five families per month they see who are older than 65 come into the cupboard for
He said these senior citizens needing help have not received a cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security paychecks, thus putting a strain on their income.
He also said the pantry, which relies on food from the Atlanta Community Food Bank, was hit hard when United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta ceased giving donations to the cupboard.
At Heritage Presbyterian Church in southwest Cherokee County, donations remain consistent, but the need is always there.
Andrea Dean, the church’s Jay Weaver Food Pantry’s coordinator, added they served about 48 families last month, which remains consistent with their month-to-month totals.
Dean said the pantry particularly likes donations of gift cards to give clients to shop at local grocery stores.
In the summer, Dean said many people coming into the pantry need help with feeding their children as they are out of school.
Along with food, Dean said the pantry also opened a clothing donation portion of their pantry, which said the popularity of which has taken her by surprise.
“This is a need we really didn’t see that much,” she said, adding most clients also take advantage of the clothes section when they are assisted with food.
Donations are needed to help stock the clothes closet, specifically boys clothing ranging from elementary to high school age.
Dean also said the youth of the church opened a garden in which clients can receive fresh fruits and vegetables to feed their children.
That also has been a success.
“It’s a huge blessing to people who come in because they don’t get to give their kids fresh fruits and vegetables,” she added.