Food pantry anticipates holiday donations

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Annual WOWT Holiday Food Drive at Baxter Arena is just days away.

Metro residents are asked to help "stuff the bus" with donations that will help those in need right here at home.

Every Tuesday and Thursday volunteers at the Saint Vincent De Paul Food Pantry pick up necessities for clients.

The pantry hasn't had a big food drive for nearly seven months, so they need for donations going into the winter months is great.

"We don't get a lot of hygiene items in a lot of the time, so it is a really big need. Just daily items that clients would want to use," pantry manager Jerry Brocky said.

He said cereal and canned beans are also in high demand.

Last year, WOWT viewers helped donated more than 30,000 pounds of food, breaking the record for donations. It took two weeks just to get all of the food sorted.

"It was a little overwhelming to start because we try to sort that all and put it in a place so that clients can easily find what they're looking for," Nancy Schrack said.

The goal is to collect even more donations this year.

The food pantry helps around 25,000 people in need every year.

"We see a lot of clients that come in. I volunteer twice a month, and there's a lot of regulars. There's a lot of people that need temporary help," Schrack said.

The food drive will operate on Dec. 6. Metro Transit will be at Baxter Arena filling the buses with donations until 7 p.m.