HANCOCK - The number of items in the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly food pantry fluctuates during the year, and although it's been good recently, Cathy Aten is concerned about October.
Aten, who is LBFE volunteer coordinator, said although the amount of items in the pantry may be low, there are still people who rely on it regularly.
"We give food out every month to over 70 people," she said. "That's more than ever."
Daily Mining Gazette/Kurt Hauglie
Cathy Aten, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly volunteer coordinator, sorts through the LBFE?food pantry, which is running low on supplies, Friday.
The shelves were well-stocked in September, Aten said, because employees at Superior National Bank and members of Calumet Rotary collected several hundred pounds of food in August.
For about two weeks, Aten said LBFE has been conducting a drive to get donations of food for their pantry because unless donations pick up, the shelves could be low in October.
On Nov. 3, Aten said Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Michigan Technological University will conduct its annual food drive for LBFE, and this year they have a goal of 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food.
Aten said what the fraternity collects lasts much of the following year, but she's concerned about the gap between now and then.
The foods sought for the LBFE food pantry include soups, either canned or dry, canned meats and fish, stew ravioli and spaghetti. They'll also take fresh fruits and vegetables.
"We personalize the bags (of food) so each individual gets the food they need," she said.
Often, Aten said the LBFE food pantry runs out of soups and proteins.
Aten said monetary donations for the pantry will be accepted, also.
"Absolutely that would be helpful," she said.
The number of people getting help from the food pantry probably won't diminish anytime soon.
"The need is not going to get any less," she said.
Aten said there are some people who donate food regularly to LBFE, and most donations come from individuals or organizations.
Those interested in donating to the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly food pantry can bring items to the organization's office at 527 Hancock St. in Hancock 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also coming up soon for LBFE, Aten said, is their annual Turn on the Heat fundraising effort. Although the fundraiser has typically featured a concert, it's been cancelled because of lack of attendance. The sales of Tootsie Pops will continue, however, at several retail outlets the first week in October. That effort has been successful at raising funds, which are split evenly between LBFE for its heating wood program, and St. Vincent de Paul for providing emergency utility assistance during winter.