Many working families use food bank
© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Cadets and MHL Amherst Ramblers hockey players will be collecting food from homes in Amherst during the Y's Service Club's fall food drive Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Helping with the food drive are: (front, from left) 154 Amherst Anson Air Cadet Commanding Officer Maralyn Ralph, Amherst Ramblers Brett Shute, Dylan Brake, Richard Tingley, Ben MacDonald, Willie MacDonald, Ben Berisha, Sea Cadet Braedon Gagnon, the Cumberland Y Service Club's Carmen Merrill, (back, from left) Charlotte Ross of the Amherst Food Assistance Network, Army Cadet Josh Gamble, Cumberland Y's Menette's president Sharon Merrill, Air Cadet Seth George and Sea Cadet Alex Arsenault.
AMHERST - Helping replenish the shelves at the Amherst Food Assistance Network has never been easier.
Just fill a bag, or more, with groceries, and then wait. If you're not home, just leave the food on your front step.
Cadets and Ramblers hockey players are helping the Cumberland Y Service Club on Saturday by going door to door and picking up food from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
"The food bank needs the same foods you have in your home," said Charlotte Ross of the Amherst Food Assistance Network. "Whatever you need to run a home, that's what we need to have in our supplies."
Ross said about 300 families use the food bank per-month, which is about 50 families more than they are used to helping.
"50 more families represents between 125 to 175 more mouths to feed," she said.
"At one time we used to have a high percentage of single people, now we have more families we're dealing with," she added.
Many working families use the food bank.
"If they're working minimum wage, with the cost of things, they're just not making enough money," said Ross. "Some of them need to work two or three jobs, especially in the service industries where they're working at minimum wage. It's a continual struggle for many families in our town and outlying areas."
Items needed on a continual basis are small jars of peanut butter, canned vegetables of all sorts and canned luncheon meats.
"We're also in need of cooking supplies like flour, sugar and those kinds of things," said Ross. "People also need to remember we take hygiene products like soaps and laundry soaps. We take baby products as well."
The Y Service Club has organized the food drive twice a year for 17-years.
"We usually get two tons of food per food drive, so about four tons a year," said Carmen Merrill of the Cumberland Y Service Club. "