By CHRIS AGEE
Well into the holiday season, local charities are relying on donations from the public to assist a growing number of individuals in need.
Genie Quincy, director of the food pantry at First Christian Church, said volunteers have seen an increase in the number of clients and expects another spike this week.
“We are serving 600 families a month now with food,” she said, noting the pantry has recently hosted two large holiday meals at the church.
Quincy said the food pantry will close for about two weeks through Christmas and New Year’s because the food banks that supply it will not be open.
Because of that, she said, this week volunteers will serve a greater-than-usual number of clients.
“The week before Christmas, we’re going to serve probably 200 to 300 families, so if anybody can bring us canned goods, that would be wonderful,” she said.
She explained the pantry is in need of all varieties of canned items, noting donations can be made at First Christian Church or other locations in the community.
Metro and First Financial Bank currently have receptacles for can donations benefitting the pantry, she added.
Jim Rhodes, executive director and founder of New Haven Helping Hands, said the charity is in need of some specific supplies.
“It’s about the same as every year,” he said. “We’re short on food and funds.”
New Haven is “the oldest and largest provider of food for the county,” he explained, noting the food bank has been in continuous operation for 26 years and serves about “1,300 unduplicated people a month.”
As with the FCC food pantry, Rhodes said New Haven’s biggest need is canned food, though he said monetary donations are also helpful.
“We have sources of food that we can purchase for 14 to 16 cents per pound,” he said, explaining the average donor cannot purchase goods at such a low price.