Food pantries see donations dwindle as demand rises after holidays

dearing lewis food drive caring and sharing walton county

Donna Dearing, left, and Donna Sue Lewis fill bags with groceries at Caring and Sharing of Walton County. In December the agency distributed 1,170 bags of food to 650 clients, which included 783 children.

DEVON RAVINE | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — As the generosity of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays fades, many local food pantries are bracing for the annual dry spell.

Some organizations that overflowed with donated food just a few weeks ago already are seeing their supplies start to dwindle.

 “During the holidays it was fantastic,” said Pennie Lucas, director of Caring and Sharing of South Walton.

“People just gave really tremendously, but now the pantry is low. It drops off so bad … but people still have to eat.”

The pantry on Lynn Drive in Santa Rosa Beach is busier than it’s ever been, feeding about 700 new people in December.

That same increase is being seen in Niceville and Fort Walton Beach.

“(The need) is always there,” said Nancy Manley, a volunteer at Sharing and Caring of Fort Walton Beach. “We’re getting 100 new people every month.”

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