LUCI WELDON/The Warren Record

Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc. food pantry Warehouse Manager Evelyn Ostendorf stands in the organization’s canned goods room, which should be full in order to meet the needs of local residents.

Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc. food pantry in Warrenton asks local residents to help their neighbors during the Christmas season and in the winter months through donations of nonperishable foods and monetary contributions.

“March 2020 will be our 20th anniversary,” said the Rev. Marc Swanner, the food pantry’s executive director and president. “We have served a lot of people. We want to continue the ministry, but it all depends on resources.”

Warehouse Manager Evelyn Ostendorf said that Loaves & Fishes serves an average of 400 clients per month. However, the food pantry receives two to three deliveries from the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina each month; food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture arrives quarterly.

“They don’t cover our clients’ needs,” Ostendorf added.

She noted that Loaves & Fishes receives regular support from Food Lion in the Warren Corners Shopping Center in Norlina based upon supply availability, but more resources are needed.

Swanner said that the months of November through January are tough on local families, especially the month of January.

“People use their funds to buy Christmas gifts and pay end-of-year taxes,” he said. “That makes it more difficult to purchase food.”

Swanner asked that Warren County residents think about Loaves & Fishes as part of their Christmas giving. Monetary donations are especially needed, he said, and may be made to Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc., 538 W. Ridgeway St., Warrenton, NC 27589.

Contributions also may be made in the form of nonperishable foods, including the following: string beans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes and other canned goods; cereals, oatmeal, crackers and pasta.

Food items will be accepted at the food pantry on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To arrange pick-up at another time or for information about volunteering, call Loaves & Fishes at 252-257-1160.