The Community Food Pantry in Covington is running low as summer presses on.
Rosalee Thompson, director of the Community Food Pantry, located at 7125 Turner Lake Circle, stated that supplies are extremely low and they’ve recently been "snowed under" by the number of families looking for food donations. She stated that on an average day 20 families come for food, but some days the number can be as high as 50.
A recent bright spot was last month when the Bank of North Georgia in Covington held a back-to-school Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive to benefit the food bank. According to Thompson, more than 1,000 pounds of food were donated that day.
"We’ve got shelves full of peanut butter," Thompson said. "We have some bread right now that was donated, but we don’t have much (bread) for it."
While the pantry may have ample peanut butter, other food items are currently scarce at best. Currently, the food pantry is accepting donations of all non-perishable foods, including canned fruits and vegetables, soups, meats such as canned tuna and dry goods such as spaghetti and pasta, flour, sugar and other essentials. The community Food Pantry also has an on-site freezer for other goods should they be donated.
According to Thompson, they try to distribute everything they receive — perishable items, which Thompson calls her "special items" are the first to go.
The pantry is also currently looking for donations of bar soap. According to Thompson, food stamps cannot be used to buy bar soap in stores, so the pantry tries to provide it and other basic toiletries — like toilet paper — when it can.
Donations of food items can be dropped off at the Community Food Pantry, located at 7125 Turner Lake Circle, or dropped off next door at FaithWorks when the pantry is closed. The pantry’s hours of operation are 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Monday and Thursday and 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesday and Friday."
Families in need can visit the pantry during its operating hours on Monday or Thursday to apply to access the pantry. According to Thompson, in order to access the community food bank, a family must prove that they are unemployed or on a fixed income and must provide their Social Security numbers and IDs to center employees. The families can then pick up their pre-packaged bundles of goods on Tuesday or Friday.
"They look at it like it’s Christmas in July," Thompson said. "They’re smiling from ear to ear. One man had pears (in his bundle), he looked like I gave him a bag of gold."