Food pantries need support of community

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The fact that distributions have increased as much as threefold — mostly seniors and children — in recent months at the Harvest for the Hungry food pantry is further proof that there is a significant need here in the community.

This pantry, operated by First United Methodist Church and the downtown Ironton churches, is one of more than a dozen pantries or organizations that are working to fight hunger here in Lawrence County.

But the organization cannot do it on its own.

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The Harvest for the Hungry pantry is actually looking at expanding its hours to reach even more people but will need outside help to do so.

Some in the community try to cast aspersions against food pantries by saying they are enabling people to look for handouts and not be self-sufficient. Another criticism is that people can abuse the generosity by going to multiple pantries.

Both these contentions are way off base and basically irrelevant.

Many of the individuals who use food pantries are employed — yet still cannot make ends meet. And the number of people who are abusing the system are very minimal.

In the end, neither of these factors really matters.

If someone needs help putting food on the table we, as a civilized society, have a responsibility to help.