SEARS — Volunteers with the Sears Food Pantry have compiled fourth quarter figures for 2011 and are finding a slow but steady increase in service activity to neighbors in need throughout the community.

In the October through December period, some 174 families requested some form of assistance from the pantry, with triple that number of individuals actually being served.

While most of the families given assistance out of the Sears Pantry coming from Evart and the Sears area, there were other requests for help from Reed City, Lake, LeRoy and Hersey.

“We are truly blessed by the generosity of the churches, businesses and caring individuals in our community,” said pantry volunteer Gary Goodfellow. “They make it possible for us to serve those who find themselves in temporary need of assistance.”

Goodfellow also reported that the pantry once again this year be provided holiday food baskets to those in need.

“In addition to regular food distribution, we also provided 132 Thanksgiving food baskets and 165 Christmas food baskets,” he said

“Again, we want to thank people around the community for their continued support and prayers.

“Pantry usage in 2011 increased over previous years and food prices continue to climb. Still, we have been able to provide ample provisions because of the wonderful support we receive.

“If folks become aware of anyone in need of temporary assistance in the community, please let us know.

Pantry volunteers are always needed. Pantry meetings are held regularly and are open to the public.

If you have an interest in attending a meeting or getting involved as a volunteer with the Sears Food Pantry, please contact Goodfellow at 734-3347.