Making ends meet is tough during the holidays and for area food pantries, it's a year long struggle. YNN's Mark Goshgarian tells us how Loaves and Fishes in Olean is banking on the community to make Christmas merrier for those in need.
OLEAN, N.Y. — Lois Chapman is a widow from Olean on a fixed income.
"You can't always spend what you'd like to. I had to let some bills go this month in order to have a little extra money..for food," said Chapman.
She often struggles to make ends meet.
"I'll have to pay those back out of my next check. That's the way it is, you rob from Peter to pay Paul almost every month," said Chapman.
Chapman is among the hundreds of people who rely on the Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Olean for their groceries.
"This time of year's, pretty rough, because we're low," said Linda Shafer, Food Pantry Director.
Shafer says most food pantries across the area are in dire need of help of their own; not only during the holiday season, but all year long.
"It's rough not having enough food, because, you know, the needs are out there, you know. As for our food pantry, we need ongoing support," said Shafer.
Shafer got some of that support Wednesday from Bona Responds, a volunteer group from Saint Bonaventure that donated several boxes of food.
"We want to help people wherever they are, there's homeless and hungry people right in our area, I don't think we could live up to our title of helping if we walked away, and left people close by," said Jim Mahar, Bona Responds Leader.
Help for those like Chapman, who encourages others to donate as well.
"I'm grateful for the things that we get. There's just a lot of people who don't have... I'm amazed at how many people come here for the food pantry," said Chapman.
The food pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.