Marion Food Pantry Closes Its Doors


By Evie Allen

MARION -- A Shepherds Closet Food Pantry in Marion is closing.

Administrators say they just don't have enough money to continue their service.

During their 20 year run, they've provided food to about a thousand families a month. People from all over have donated and shopped at their thrift store.
Shepherds Closet has had its share of up's and downs. The pantry that once served people three days recently cut its hours to just one day a week. 
"I'm very, very unhappy. I'm very sad. We've helped a lot of people through this organization," says board member Debbie Jack.
The non-profit organization helped 1,100 families a month through its food bank. Jack says now those families will have to go elsewhere. 
"We've been trying now for the last couple of months to do something to keep it open and we just couldn't do it," she adds.
The pantry was supported by the group's thrift shop and generous donations.
"This really is a great little store and it really does try to give back to the upmost," says thrist shop customer Kinsley Rausch.
Jacks says the organization hasn't received any financial help since January and their main food vendors aren't giving as much as they used too.
"We're just at a point where we can't go out and buy the food that we need to feed the people," explains Jack.
Finding volunteers has also been a problem. The average age of workers is 72.
"They're wore out," Jack adds.
Customers are disappointed at the news.
"This is a loss to the community. It really is," says Carole Rausch.
Jack says all the workers have enjoyed being with the organization and if there was a way to keep it going they would.
"As I see right now, there's no hope to redo it, unless a miracle happens between now and the time we actually shut it completely down."
Saturday is the last day Shepherds Closet will be open. Left over food will go to another pantry. Everything else will be auctioned off.
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