Need for food at local pantries increases during summer months

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Many people donate to food pantries during the holiday season, but the need for donations is even greater in the summer.

Food pantries in Springfield told 22News the need for donations is higher this time of year due to the fact that kids are out of school on summer vacation.

Families in need depend on pantries like the open pantry and gray house in Springfield during the summer since their children are no longer receiving two meals at school.

22News spotted multiple families visiting the Gray house Thursday morning during their open market.

“People come to the food pantries much more often. We see a spike in the market for a need for food, it’s always there but it’s much more apparent in the summer when the kids aren’t receiving food in the school,” Gray House Executive Director Teresa Liberti said.

“The demand has definitely been there our donations are down slightly so we’re looking for the community to assist us,” Open Pantry Community Services Executive Director Terry Maxey said.

Among the most needed food items are peanut butter and jelly, pastas and soups. The Springfield open pantry said they also accept cash donations.

“This gives us the ability to go out and purchase items such as peanut butter, tuna things like that…items we don’t receive from donations,” Maxey said.

You can find out when summer lunch programs will be offered in your community on their website.

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