CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- With coronavirus pandemic not letting up as the holiday season approaches, food pantries are in need of donations as they are seeing more families in need of food.
“We want to ensure that everybody in Chicopee and Hampden County know that there are services to help combat hunger,” said Ruben Reyes, executive director of Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen.
Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee has been busier than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, seeing new faces and even larger families.
However, Reyes told Western Mass News there is a problem. They do not have the donations they're used to receiving.
“Right now, we are struggling because we don’t have our fundraisers, which are a major portion of our donation revenue. It’s a bit of a struggle trying to fill those holes,” Reyes explained.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen has seen a two percent increase in people each month.
However, their donations from community members and even donors have decreased, which is leaving their shelves empty.
“We are experiencing shortages in some of our staple items, such as meat, peanut butter, soup because of the increase of families during our pantry hours,” Reyes added.
To help the kitchen, Grzelak, Grzelak, and Associates in Chicopee donated over 300 pounds of food on Monday to help fill those empty shelves.
“A lot of kids are at home right now, schools are shutting down again, kids are learning from home, parents are stuck there. Lorraine’s, we asked what they are looking for and we got them peanut butter and soups…and we got jelly ‘cause how can you have peanut butter without jelly,” said Zach Grzelak with Grzelak, Grzelak, and Associates
With the holidays are right around the corner, Reyes and his team are trying to make sure Lorraine’s is prepared to help feed more mouths than they have in past years.
“This year, we do have to keep in mind we are seeing families that never have come to our facility and now it being the holiday season, it’s trying to stay ahead of the curb,” Reyes added.
Reyes said they are accepting donations every day and are staying up-to-date on all of the resources out there to ensure they are able to keep their services up and running.
To make a monetary donation to Lorraine's, CLICK HERE.