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Cornelius News

Food pantry expands hours; needs donations of hygiene items

The Fishes and. Loaves food pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center has increased hours. Phofo | Ada Jenkins Center

March 15. The food pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center has opened an additional day of the week to help clients whose COVID-19 related SNAP benefits have expired.

COVID-related Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits expired on Feb. 28, which means clients will need to pay an extra $95 to $295 each month for food – while grocery prices are 10 percent higher than a year ago, according to the center.

The need

Even before those benefits expired, the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center experienced increased demand: 199 people visited the pantry in January, compared with 139 in December.

More hours

The pantry has added an extra day of service; it’s now open every 12:30-2:30 pm, Wednesday and Thursday as well as the second Saturday of each month.

To access the food pantry, families must call Loaves and Fishes in advance for a referral: 704-523-4333.

“Our clients are still struggling with the high prices of everyday items, and we worry about what their next few months will look like, now that they’re not receiving the extra SNAP benefits,” explains Harold Rice, chief executive officer of the Ada Jenkins Center. “We’ve seen an increase in demand across all of Ada Jenkins Center’s services, so we knew without doubt that we would have to expand our food pantry hours.”

What donations are needed

Due to the demand, the pantry needs donations of hygiene items: full-size shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and baby wipes.

Volunteers are available from 9:30-11:30 am, Tuesdays through Thursdays, to accept donations.

No food donations are needed at this time.