Vale food pantry sees need spike

Christine Strauchon (right), a volunteer at the Vale Food Pantry, helps clients choose food items on a recent Thursday. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

VALE – The Vale Food Pantry is seeing more community members than usual, and it’s not just due to the holiday season.

“It’s definitely gone up and stayed up,” said food pantry manager Connie Ussing, of the local need.

Ussing said that not quite a year ago, the food pantry at 252 B St. W. was serving 70 to 80 households. But now Ussing says they’re averaging closer to 120 households per month and have seen as many as 132.

In all, 370 individuals visited in October, said volunteer Luwana Hinrich. In September the number was 328.

Most people in Vale, where the poverty rate hovers over 20%, would probably . . .