Boone County — The food supply at The Caring Center is lower than ever, said Executive Director Theresa Hanners.
And this recent warm trend in the weather will not help things as Hanners and the center are gearing up for Thanksgiving.
“Thanksgiving is the hardest time to get food together for,” she said. “Especially if it stays warm for a long time — you can bank on it.”
That’s true even in a good year. But lately, Hanners has seen a greater demand for food, mixed with a lack of donations.
“We just cannot keep food on the shelves,” she said. “We really need help right now.”
If it weren’t for an anonymous donor who spends $2,500 a month on food for the center, there would be nothing on the shelves, Hanners said. And she’s hoping to feed 400 families for Thanksgiving this year, which will take 400 turkeys, 400 cans of pumpkin, 400 cans of corn and 800 cans of green beans.
Ironically, the increase in need may be due to the increase in employment, Hanners said. More people may be employed, but their employment is not enough to make them self-sufficient. And that employment may make them ineligible for government assistance.
“The statistic is better, but as far as being food secure and self-sufficient, there’s a big difference,” Hanners said. “It’s not as good as we think it is. The first layers of numbers don’t always give you the true picture.”
And the true picture is The Caring Center needs the community to step up.
Hanners said she is “totally amazed” that every time she gets the word out that the center needs help, the community responds in big ways — even over the top.
But each community member only needs to do his or her part, she said. If one person can buy a case of green beans; do it. If one can buy 400 turkeys; do it.
“A lot of times, the person who can only buy one can doesn’t think that makes a difference,” Hanners said. “But if 50,000 people are like that, then that makes a big difference. We all just need to do our part; that’s how communities work together.”