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Shortages Threaten Food Pantries in Lackawanna County

CARBONDALE, Pa. — Food pantries in Lackawanna County are suffering from a supply shortage right now, forcing some to shut their doors, at least temporaril...

CARBONDALE, Pa. -- Food pantries in Lackawanna County are suffering from a supply shortage right now, forcing some to shut their doors, at least temporarily.

The Carbondale Food Pantry is operated by Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton. After a summer of high demand, the shelves are pretty bare.

Catholic Social Services says that if the pantry doesn't receive any donations by next week, it will have to close.

"Did I expect to see it this empty? Not a chance. Not at all," said pantry office supervisor Michelle Santanna.

Folks at the Carbondale Food Pantry are asking for your help so they can continue helping people in need -- people such as Rebecca Cron of Scranton. She has five children at home and often relies on the Carbondale Food Pantry for help.

"This pantry has helped me in ways when I didn't have food, I was able to come here and grab it when I needed it," Cron said.

The Catholic Social Services food pantry in Scranton recently canceled its one day a week service because it did not have enough food. That closure has increased the demand at the Carbondale pantry.

"What happens is during the summer, knowing this is coming, and you know, the kids are out of school, pantries are inundated with people. They have to feed their children, they're not eating at school, so of course, food bills double and they're looking for help," Santanna explained.

The pantry in Carbondale needs donations of pasta, sauce, canned meats and veggies, and even toiletries.

One of the areas the pantry is in most need of restocking is the baby pantry. At least twice a day, families come in needing things like diapers, wipes, or car seats, but right now there's just one item remaining.

The Carbondale Food Pantry is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week. But after next Tuesday, Catholic Social Services says the pantry will close if it doesn't get any new food.

"There's times I walked in there and they hardly have anything on the shelf, so the more they can provide the better off they are," Cron added.

If the pantry closes, it will reopen once it has enough to feed the 30 to 50 people who come in each day it's open. The pantry in Scranton could also re-open as soon as next week.

You can drop off donations at Catholic Social Services on Fig Street in Scranton, at the pantry on River Street in Carbondale, or through the Diocese of Scranton website.