By: Tom O’Neill
As we await the arrival of the fourth Nor’easter this month, it is critical to keep in mind the devastating effects this winter weather has had on our neighbors and the increased damage that may result from more winter storms. Areas such as Cape Cod are especially prone to additional damage following extreme cold, high winds, prominent flooding, and days of power outages caused by back to back storms.
During the difficult times, many in the area are turning to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod for assistance. As Cape Cod’s largest food pantry, it serves over 9,300 clients and in 2017 alone distributed over 73,000 bags of groceries and over 30 tons of gently-used clothing. Year-to-date the number of clients the pantry serves is up 11 percent and new clients are up 7 percent largely due to the onslaught of storms and January’s brutal cold snap. Many times those who find themselves tight on funds will lower the heat in their homes in an effort to reduce spending. However, January’s bitter temperatures reached historic lows forcing many families to spend more on heating to keep pipes from freezing.
With services in high demand and the pantry in its quietest months for donations, Family Pantry of Cape Cod finds itself low on resources to provide essential services. Over the past month the pantry has been forced to cancel two mobile pantry deliveries and two food distributions due to severe weather. Tomorrow’s distribution remains in question.