The local food pantry sees an uptick in donations around this time of year said volunteer coordinator Ruth Anderson. The Tea area food pantry is a joint effort of St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Living Hope Community Church, Risen Savior Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church. It is located within Trinity Lutheran Church at 335 W. 1st Street, Tea.
On Monday the food pantry accepted a $500 grant from Farm Credit Service of Sioux Falls. Anderson said the funds will go toward the Christmas boxes the pantry prepares for local pantry clients. The boxes contain food and Sunshine gift cards.
Anderson thanked the representatives from Farm Credit Services of Sioux Falls for awarding them the grant; it was the first time the food pantry had applied. FCS America’s “Working Here Fund,” provides grants for projects and organizations that make a positive, long-term impact in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming.
The donation will help assures Anderson.
“We’ll probably give 35 boxes this year,” Anderson said, “maybe it will rise, there’s a few more than last year.”
Anderson said they recently received 404 pounds of food from the Tea Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. She knows that keeping the shelves stocked is important, and that there’s probably more people who could benefit from this resource.
“It’s hard when they haven’t been here before, but I know there’s a bunch that need help and don’t come forward,” said Anderson.
The food pantry relies on donations from organizations and businesses like Farm Credit Services of Sioux Falls. Anderson said that the Tea Area schools recently held a collection that helped to stock their shelves as well.
Another volunteer Anne Koosman said, “The shelves are overflowing right now because of the school—it was awesome.”
Pantry users must live within the Tea community. Anderson said that their clients come in once a month for their box of food. The hours are posted Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. She added that if people call they can arrange a time if needed.
One item the food pantry doesn’t carry right now is diapers.
Anderson said, “I get asked for diapers, there’s a lot of people in Tea with babies.”
She said if diapers were donated they would be accepted, other accepted items include: non-perishable food items, personal hygiene products: toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, gas cards and sunshine gift cards are also in demand. During the winter months, all sizes of gently used winter jackets, hats and gloves can be donated.
Donations can be dropped off at Trinity Lutheran Church anytime. A shopping cart is located in the gathering area for donations. Call 498-2343 for more information.