AMVETS support pantry

REED CITY — The economy is hurting, and people know it. So it is that organizations and individuals are offering a hand-up again this year, trying to make sure that area residents don’t go hungry. It’s not just about the holidays and it’s not just because winter’s moving in fast. It’s just because. People aren’t looking for a handout, but they sure can use a hand-up. Robert Pooley of The Reed City Food Pantry works hard at trying to keep bellies fed and hopes up, as do so many others. Certainly among them is local Amvets Post 2965.

On Saturday Ken Boyer handed Pooley a check from the Amvets for $500. The two met at a site often used as a “giving spot” of sorts it’s beginning to seem. The Fay Wilson Recycle Center which was open for business.

Other checks have passed hands at that location where givers gather, volunteering to help meet the needs of those who need it. For Boyer, it was a good feeling knowing the Amvets could help. For Pooley, it was an obvious blessing at a critical time. The pantry was overwhelmed with the number of people coming to it just before Thanksgiving to receive help. “It’s going to come in very handy right now,” Pooley said. Well over 160 turkeys were given out to meet the needs of people who had little reason to celebrate, but could if they were able to have a big dinner, and hopefully leftovers, and go to bed with full tummies. A family in our community had been blessed and wanted to pass it on, Pooley explained, “they wanted to pay for all the turkeys.” A food drive by area Scouts and Reed City Elementary students helped refill the shelves with food they collected, and the shelves went empty in spite of all the help. Pooley said he made several trips to the store to buy more “extras” to be sure every family had a full meal and a reason to be thankful. “Fortunately, we had a truck coming in soon after,” he said. Boyer asked if Pooley liked the squash he’d brought in, and Pooley chuckled. “I didn’t even see it,” he said. “It was gone before I knew it was there.” Another big help was at least a dozen crates filled with apples brought in by Morgan’s, “and everything was going, and nearly gone even with the extras. We had a line up in the parking lot before we got there to open,” Pooley said. Usually they close the food pantry at 4 p.m. This day they stayed open until nearly 5, to be sure all who came left with a Thanksgiving dinner in addition to the extras. “It used to be these collections would see us through from Fall to Fall, but not any more.” he said, with a shake of the head. “It can’t. But this community is so generous that we get more in all year now, because they know things are tough for more and more people.” With winter coming on, concerns are there, but as in the past, Pooley is sure that people will step up to the plate, and make sure those who need it have food on their’s. Too.