PICKENS COUNTY — “Uh-oh, no SpaghettiOs!” came the cry this week from United Christian Ministries.
Donations for the charity organization’s food pantry to help needy families around the area has dropped this summer although the number of people needing assistance has held steady.
“People’s schedules are different during this time of year,” said UCM director Teresa Nash. “Kids are out of school, people are on vacation — there’s lots of reasons — but when the donations lessen, we have to buy the supplies ourselves and that takes away from how much we’re able to help people in other areas, like their electric bills.”
Top of the list on things needed are canned meals.
“Canned meals are things like Spaghetti O’s, Ravioli, soups, stews, things like that,” she said. “But of course, there’s other staples that we try to always keep on hand as well: macaroni and cheese, saltine crackers, rice, dried beans, cereal, grits, spaghetti sauce. These are things that can be used to make several meals.”
Nash said that when a family comes in, they are given enough food for three meals a day, for three days.
“This time of year we also have a lot of families coming in asking about back to school supplies, but we run that a little differently,” she said.
Although UCM does accept donations of school supplies, rather than be rationed as individual families come in, the donations are delivered in bulk to the various schools throughout the county.
“It just makes more sense this way, the elementary, middle and high school guidance councilors give out the supplies as needed. If a student needs something, that’s who we direct them to.”
Food donations are received at UCM located at 303 Dacusville Highway in Easley every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and noon. UCM volunteers are available during these hours to assist in unloading donations and providing receipts as needed.
Donations for UCM’s pantry are also currently being accepted at the offices of The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel located at 714 S. Pendleton St., Suite D., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.