SEARS - The need is still there. Neighbors are still going through tough times. Volunteers with the Sears Food Pantry continue to answer needs and reach out to folks throughout the extended 'neighborhood.' It's simply what they do, and what they have done for a decade and more. And this year is much of the same, (although more requests for temporary help are coming in then ever before." As planners with the Sears Food Pantry look to the immediate future, they know there will be a special need around Christmas time. But before then there is Thanksgiving Day. ""In addition to our regular food distributions this past year, we also provided 72 special Easter food baskets," reported food Pantry board president Gary Goodfellow. "Last year, the pantry also gave out 115 Thanksgiving food baskets. We distributed 137 food baskets at Christmastime." This special food basket distribution program is set to go once again this year. "We will be giving out Thanksgiving food baskets on Nov. 21," noted Goodfellow. "The cut-off date for signing up for a basket is Wednesday, Nov. 16." Goodfellow said the Sears Food Pantry team had served a total of 277 families in the six month period from April to September this year. This translates to 788 people who visit the pantry or are fed in households given aid during a period of need. That's a lot of food. "We are truly blessed by the generosity of churches, businesses, and caring individuals in our community who make it possible for us to serve those who find themselves in temporary need of assistance," Goodfellow said. "We appreciate the continued prayers and support." In addition, Goodfellow noted his team hoped people throughout the area would let the Sears Pantry team know of anyone falling on hard times . "Please let us know," he said. "We're here to help." And there's always room for more volunteers. Pantry meetings are open to everyone. They are held at the Sears Untied Methodist Church just off U.S. 10 and one block east of 50th Avenue in Sears. "If anyone has an interest in attending or serving on the board, they are most welcome," said Goodfellow. Should anyone have questions, I am always available at 734-3347."