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HOPE in Lancaster in critical need of certain food items

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By Jesef Williams

Many of the shelves are bare at HOPE in Lancaster. The charitable organization is experiencing a major food shortage right now as local need continues to climb. This week, staff released a list of items they’re completely out of.

Those items include peanut butter, jelly, rice, dried beans, self-rising flour, self-rising corn meal and sugar.

“We really need those items,” HOPE Executive Director Elaine Adkins said.

Adkins said the agency is extremely thankful for all of the donations it gets for its food pantry. However, on any given day, there’s no telling what foods they will receive.

From July 1 to Tuesday, Aug. 13, Akdins said HOPE processed food orders for 284 families, which equals 647 people.

On a recent Monday, for example, the agency processed 25 orders.

Ann Blackmon, HOPE administrative assistant, said the agency aims to give each family the same items. Other foods on a typical list are canned fruit, canned vegetables, soup, canned meat, pastas, bread, desserts and juice.

HOPE has those foods in stock right now, but it’s far from an abundance, Blackmon said.

“We can always use any of those,” she said.

Adkins said there’s usually great need during the summer months because children who receive free lunch at school don’t get those meals.

Also, grocery stores continue to increase the prices for everyday items.

“It makes it hard on families to stretch their food money,” Adkins said.

Adkins said there have been several individuals, church congregations and other groups to donate food to HOPE in recent weeks. She hopes that trend will continue.