Local food pantry increases services as school starts back up

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As school starts back up amid the pandemic, NNEMAP Food Pantry says their services are continuing to increase. 

Sean Becker, director of development and marketing at NNEMAP Food Pantry says this is usually the time when things slow down. But less food is available for some households as more parents are optioning in their kids for remote learning.

“For every child that is eligible for school breakfast and lunch program, that’s about 10 meals a week that a family is having to replace right now,” said Becker.

He says he expects to see things get worse and that more families will be in need in the next few months. Just last week, they served more than 400 households. Additionally, about 40 percent of people coming for assistance are under the age of 17. 

“Within those households, you have an average of three people,” said Becker. “That’s over 1,200 people every week coming for food assistance and that’s up from March.”

Each year, NNEMAP Food Pantry sees a 20 percent increase in not only the number of households but the number of visits as well. 

“Stimulus funding is starting to run out for a lot of families and those initial resources that were available are starting to run dry,” he said. 

For families who are hesitant to go to their pantry because of the virus, transportation, or childcare challenges, they have a delivery service available. 

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