Salvation Army says its food pantry is bare

Published 1:05 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- If the Niles branch of the Salvation Army doesn't receive food donations immediately, they may have to shut down their food pantry until May 10th, a Niles Salvation representative said Wednesday.
Floyd Cryderman, Niles Salvation Army Captain, said their food pantry is currently in a critical state.
May 10th, however, is postal food drive day in this area and the event that usually helps the Niles Salvation Army fill up its food pantry.
Cryderman has been waiting for food donations to come in, but donations have so far this year been slow, he said.
He said the last time there was a food shortage at the food pantry, the First Church of Christ-Christian in Niles helped out.
A local sorority, however, has already donated $500 to alleviate the current food shortage.
Cryderman Wednesday evening also spoke to members of the First Christian Missionary Alliance in Niles, who have done a food drive to replenish the food pantry's food shortage.
A deletion of food pantry funding this year, Cryderman said, means there is very little money left to buy food and that's the main reason the food pantry is currently running out of food, he said.
Previously, the Niles Salvation Army's food pantry has been funded through an Emergency Food and Shelter program, which is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.
This year that funding has been cut, and Cryderman is appealing the decision made by the Southwest Michigan United Ways Emergency Food and Shelter committee.
A decision on Cryderman's appeal will be made on a special United Way board meeting, Thursday April 24.
Emergency Food and Shelter funds are distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to local non-profit organizations who themselves have committees responsible for distributing and overseeing how the money is spent locally.
The Southwest Michigan United Way is responsible for funding touching the Niles Salvation Army and other organizations in this area.
Martin Goleb, President of Southwest Michigan United Way, said he understands Cryderman's problems. But he also said there are so many organizations requesting funding, and the people on the committees are making some very difficult decisions about who who gets funded and who doesn't.
In addition, Goleb said it is hard to find people willing to donate money with the country's economy being down. While awaiting a decision on his appeal, Cryderman will have to put his faith in the hands of local churches and local donations to keep the food pantry open. Otherwise the food pantry could be shut down for a month in wait of the postal food drive.