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By Mark Mahoney
Journalist 

Community Giving

County food pantry prepares to meet holiday needs

 

December 10, 2020

The Antelope County Food Pantry exists to help feed those in need.

The Neligh-based nonprofit organization welcomes donations year-round, including during the holiday season.

“This time of year, we receive many wonderful donations and it gives us the opportunity to help every family who comes to the pantry as well as stock our shelves for the winter months,” manager Bev Alderson said.

“We always need baking items and cold cereal,” she said. “I cannot say we have one need unmet over others – when we run out of items, we either substitute or just let the shopper know we’re out.”

Donations may be brought to the food pantry at 110 W. Fifth St. during its open hours of 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on the first and third Thursdays monthly.

People who want to donate items to the organization also may call Alderson at her Elgin home.

“I let donors know what the immediate and future needs are and may be and leave their donations up to them,” Alderson said.

“We will make arrangements to meet them at the pantry if they cannot bring the foods to my home,” she said.

She noted the organization’s nonperishable items vary from week to week due to what has been donated.

“Those foods are usually seasonal,” Alderson said. “I cannot think of any food item, canned or boxed, that we would refuse – except we cannot accept home-canned foods and foods that have been opened.”

Alderson and her husband, Bill, are open to helping families whenever they receive a call with an immediate need.

“We, of course, respond immediately,” Alderson said. “We used to help more families before the mobile pantry came into the area.”

She noted the food pantry always sees additional families during the holiday season.

“I guess I’d have to say yes, we have seen more in November and December, but I don’t know if the higher numbers will remain or not,” Alderson said.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not helped matters.

“We are taking special precautions with social distancing and masks now,” Alderson said.

 

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