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Summer needs create food shortage at Olathe pantry

Posted: 4:03 PM, Jul 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-09 17:44:50-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Walking into the Salvation Army in Olathe, Kansas, you’ll see a sign at the door: Food Pantry closed until July 12.

“We just wanted people to understand that like we're at a point where it's low enough where we may not be able to provide what we normally provide,” Lt. Kory Strand said. 

Strand said the summertime can be challenging.

“What happens is that all the meals that are provided during that school year, like the breakfast and lunch that the kids are able to get, now they're at home, so that is not happening,” he said. 

That’s why the pantry works overtime to fill that need.

“What ends up happening is our pantry really just takes a hit because there's just such a need for more food and, as you can see, it's pretty empty,” Strand said.

Now, spots where fruits, cereal and soup used to be sit empty.

“Honestly, it's heartbreaking because I know what the needs are, and so when we see these empty shelves we know there's going to be families that we can't provide for,” Strand said. 

When the shelves are stocked up and filled, the pantry serves roughly 80 Johnson County families each month.

“That average, that steady stream of 80 families, they're different families every month but that never really goes down,” Strand said. 

While there are several bare shelves now, Strand is hoping donations will help fill the summer need.

“The bags of groceries that are coming in are literally keeping people, giving them the nutrition they need and helping them to literally survive,” he said. 

The pantry is looking for just about everything: nonperishable items, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, soup, and diapers. 

For a full list of necessities, click here.