The Southampton Community Cupboard at the Congregational Church is still supplying food to those who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their supplies are running alarmingly low.
Mike and Candice Iwanicki volunteer their time at the town food pantry and their minds are always on feeding local folks who need a little help, but now, because of a global pandemic, they have another concern, empty shelves.
Fear of illness is causing people around town to have their groceries delivered, and some don’t leave their houses at all. This is leading to less donations in the boxes for the pantry at the local businesses that allow them like Big Y.
Other businesses that had boxes like the library and the Easthampton Savings Bank in town are closed because of the pandemic.
Just because there is illness in the air does not mean people stop being hungry.
“It doesn’t matter what their circumstance is,” Mike said. “It’s all the same feeling. It doesn’t make a difference. It strikes everybody the same. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry and you know it.”
Anybody is welcome to receive help from the pantry. It serves people in Southampton and surrounding communities. All you have to do is show up.
“This system has never required financial information,” Candice said.
Although Mike does not like the idea of people not being able to enter the church and shop during social distancing, he knows it is temporary, and is happy they are still open.
“People are usually able to come in and browse and decide what they want to take,” Mike said. “And what they don’t want to take, too.”
For now, things run differently at the pantry, but they are still operating.
“We give the people a bag and a slip of paper with some other choices on it,” Candice said. “We fill the second bag and deliver it to their car, now wearing masks, and gloves, along with wiping everything down.”
The pantry does receive some of their items from the food bank, but they rely heavily on private donations.
They will accept any item at the pantry, but are in dire need of cereal, bars of soap, boxes of macaroni and cheese, applesauce, canned fruit, tuna, and chicken.
If you are unable to donate, please pass the word that they are in need of items. Also, let people know that they don’t turn anyone away.
The Southampton Community Cupboard is open every second and fourth Saturday.
If you wish to donate, please contact Mike and Candice Iwanicki at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather donate cash or a Big Y card, please send it to: Iwanicki, 94 Pleasant St., Southampton, MA 01073.