Loomis Basin Food Pantry cupboards are bare

More donations sought during holidays
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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With its shelves almost empty, it’s getting harder for the Loomis Basin Food Pantry to help the needy. “Things have changed,” said Gary Doupnik, whose wife, Betty Doupnik, is co-director of the Food Pantry with Roy Draper. “There’s more people looking for food and fewer people bringing in food,” he said. In an appeal for donations, the Food Pantry directors say they are experiencing a crisis caused by the affects of the economic downturn. There is an unprecedented number of seniors and families in need of help, they say. They’ve also learned from experience that the approaching holidays will increase demand. Families and individuals from Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle and Rocklin are referred to the Food Pantry daily by county agencies. The non-perishable groceries are meant to tide people over as they struggle to make ends meet until they can find permanent solutions or social service help begins. Individuals and families each receive four bags full of food staples, said Draper, who has been working with the Food Pantry for over 10 years. “We give them five cans of vegetables and five cans of fruit,” Draper said, “but all we have (on the shelves) is four cans of vegetables.” “Look,” he said, pointing to empty shelves, “there’s no dry milk, there’s no cooking oil.” The only reason there was Stove Top dressing to add to the bags, he said, was because he had just purchased 10 boxes. The top five items the Food Pantry is requesting at this time, said Betty Doupnik, are canned vegetables, other than corn and green beans; canned fruit, other than peaches and mixed fruit; pancake syrup; jellies and jams; and small boxes of dry milk. “We have plenty of beans and mac and cheese,” she said, “but nothing else to give.” Other foodstuffs needed to fill the bags are cans of diced, stewed and crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, ravioli, spaghettios and evaporated milk, one-pound packages of granulated sugar, two-pound packages of flour, packages of pasta, rice, dry beans and pancake mix, bottles of syrup, bottles or packages of salad dressing, bottles or cans of juice (46 ounce to 3 quarts), cans of corned beef hash, salmon, Spam, or beef stew, jars of peanut butter and jelly, boxes of cereal, cans of evaporated milk, packaged dinners such as Hamburger Helper or Rice-a-Roni, and packages of ramen noodles. Bars of hand soap are also requested. The canned and non-perishable foods can be dropped off in the Loomis Basin Food Pantry barrel at Blue Goose Produce, located at 3550 Taylor Road. Donations can also be mailed to the Loomis Basin Food Pantry, 6414 Brace Road, Loomis, CA 95650.