The nonprofit Matthews HELP Center has urgent needs to fill its food pantry.
With the end of the school year, the crisis assistance center expects an influx of local low-income families in need of food for children who will no longer receive free meals at school. The center’s Bounceback Backpack program, which provides 50 backpacks full of food for children at local elementary schools to eat over the weekend, also will end with the school year.
“The reality is a lot of us talk about going on vacation or going to camp during the summer. Well, they’re not going on vacation or going to camp. They’re going hungry,” Barbara Dement, development coordinator, said.
The center especially needs canned stew and meats – such as tuna or chicken – healthy cereal, canned vegetables or fruit in its own juice and 100 percent fruit juice. Beans, rice, pasta and pasta sauce also are needed.
In the last fiscal year, the HELP Center served 3,865 families and fed 3,992 individuals enough food for one week. Since July 2011, the center is on track to serve approximately 5,000 clients and feed 6,000 individuals during this fiscal year.
Donations can be dropped off at the center, 119 N. Ames St., Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.matthewshelp
center.org or call 704-847-8383.