Donations needed: Inflation, more clientele hitting Clay County food pantry hard

Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs has already helped 1,157 families

The pantry helps families throughout Clay County, including Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, Penney Farms, and Orange Park.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – This week, the shelves were well-stocked at the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs. But as its director, Wynema Lovell explains, it can be hit or miss these days.

“Last week, or the week before, it was sad in here, it was so empty,” Lovell said. “So, it’s feast or famine in this job.”

Lovell is the pantry’s director and says so far this year, the pantry has helped 1,157 families. For all of 2021, the pantry helped 699. The pantry helps families throughout Clay County, including Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, Penney Farms, and Orange Park.

Lovell says donations have also dropped, and the money that is donated isn’t going as far as it used to at the grocery store. Lovell says she was floored at how much was spent on the recent shopping trip.

“The last time they went, it was $10,000,” Lovell said. “I don’t know how much that would’ve been in the past, but I don’t think it would’ve been that much.”

Lovell says before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pantry was serving its clients 4 times a year. With the community’s generous donations, it began serving clients monthly. Lovell says her biggest concern is if things don’t get better, the pantry may have to scale back those monthly food events. Jean Cosby is assistant director and says donations are badly needed.

“We need so much food that we’re reaching out to anyone and everybody,” Cosby said. “Monetary donations as well as the food.”

Regardless of what happens, the crew is staying optimistic.

“I always say, God has always looked out for the food pantry, and He will continue,” Lovell said. “And we will survive, and we will not have to turn anyone away.”

Every donation can help. Canned goods are always welcome, as well as pasta and other items. The pantry also accepts money. For more information on how you can help, click here.

The pantry’s Facebook page is also a valuable resource to learn more.


About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.