Food pantries see influx during, after floodThey started showing up at the Emergency Food Pantry in north Fargo on Friday – victims of the flood, be they displaced or furloughed by the raging Red River.
By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM
They started showing up at the Emergency Food Pantry in north Fargo on Friday – victims of the flood, be they displaced or furloughed by the raging Red River.
A few were school employees, kitchen staff or custodians, who endured almost two weeks without a paycheck.
Also among the evacuees was an elderly couple who lived south of Island Park.
A similar stream of hungry people is beginning to appear at the Dorothy Day Food Pantry in Moorhead, including a couple, both restaurant workers, who stopped Wednesday for food.
“I definitely think in the next two or three weeks we’ll see another influx of people,” said Sonja Ellner, director of the Dorothy Day House and Food Pantry.
Food shelves in the area already were seeing increased demand in recent months as the economic slowdown hit home, with workers laid off or coping with reduced hours, said Ellner and Linda Clark, coordinator of the Emergency Food Pantry of Fargo-Moorhead.
“I’m sure we’re going to see more,” Clark said, noting the snowstorm and intense flood fight and travel restrictions probably delayed some from seeking food assistance.
Unfortunately, a Boy Scout food drive that had been scheduled for this weekend was postponed because of the flood, Clark said. Last year, the drive collected almost 40,000 pounds of donated food.
Fortunately, support organizations, including the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation and Hunger Solutions Minnesota have been in touch and could step in, Ellner said.
Similarly, the Fargo-based Great Plains Food Bank, which supplies pantries in the region, is tapping its network for food and cleaning supplies to help in the flood aftermath, program director Steve Sellent said.
Already, people from around the country have called offering to send truckloads of food and supplies to aid in flood relief, he said, adding that logistical details are still being worked out.
How to help:
Food or financial donations can be made to local food pantries:
- Dorothy Day Food Pantry, 1308 Main Ave., Moorhead.
- Emergency Food Pantry of Fargo-Moorhead, 1438 10th St. N., Fargo
Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522