As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, the need for essentials like blankets, clothing, and food becomes ever more present for the people served by the Friends & Neighbors Community Choice Food Center.
"We serve about 800 people a month," says Tia Benson-Palm, a volunteer at the center. "And the community is very poor. They are jobless, a lot of them are homeless. They sleep in tents in the winter time. Struggling."
Director Lisa Roberts says, although the holiday season brings about a greater need, it's important to remember the need after the holidays as well.
"More and more come throughout the holidays. But if we remember, January following December, it is cold," Roberts says. "It is a very rough time for families to go through. There are a lot of struggles in the winter."
The volunteers with the Friends & Neighbors Community Choice Food Center have moved to a new location so that the community can be better served because it's not just food the pantry offers.
"We have 12 programs running to help the public," Roberts adds. "Through those 12 programs, we take in donations of every kind and immediately turn them around to help the public."
Benson-Palm says every little bit helps when there is such great need.
"You know, you can think of anything off the top of your hat and it could help. Anything," Benson-Palm says. "Anything, donating clothes, donating time. Even $10 goes a majorly long way.
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