LEXINGTON, N.C. — At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pastor’s Pantry in Lexington provided over 350,000 pounds of food to over 1,400 clients. A year later the numbers haven’t changed, but the funding has.
Donna Mashburn is the executive director of the Pastor’s Pantry, which is a food pantry for older adults in Davidson County. Mashburn pointed out they saw a 128 percent increase in demand last year combined with a 70 percent drop in donations. Normally the combination would be a problem, but the pantry never closed.
“There were a lot of emergency grants for food services and seniors in need during the pandemic,” Mashburn said.
The emergency funds allowed folks like Dean Wheless to continue to receive groceries from the Pastor’s Pantry.
“It’s very helpful. Even before COVID they were so friendly,” Wheless said. “If you are a senior with limited resources, this is helpful.”
A year later, the Pastor’s Pantry is still seeing a high demand for food, but emergency funding is no longer available. So the organization is turning to the community for help.
The pandemic will prevent the Pastor’s Pantry from holding large fundraisers. Instead, they will try to hold small fundraisers. The Pastor’s Pantry is also asking folks to mail their monetary donations or drop them off at their North State Street warehouse location. Mashburn said the group fills a critical role in the community.
“They would probably go without,” Mashburn said. “There are other pantries in Davidson County. We are the only one that targets senior adults in the community.”
The Pastor’s Pantry is at 307 N. State St. Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 2015, Lexington, NC 27295.