Food donations up, cash down in March food drive

The Princeton Pantry received approximately $5,000 less in cash during this year’s March food drive compared to last year, but took in close to 11,000 more pounds of food.
The cash donations this year totaled $22,088 compared to last year’s $27,202. But this year’s March drive brought in 29,097 pounds of food, versus last year’s 18,707 pounds, according to Princeton Pantry Coordinator Joyce Neumann.
The nearly  11,000 pound increase in food “was great,” said Neumann, quickly noting that the boost came mainly from Walmart and Coborn’s. Princeton’s Walmart opened here Feb. 1 and has been donating to Princeton Pantry since its opening. Coborn’s, which has been in Princeton for many years now, began donating its nearly-expired food more than a year ago.
“The good thing is when we get money from the state (as a partial match to the March food drive donations) it is based on the food and money taken in,” Neumann said.
Princeton Pantry is in “good shape” now and with the donated food from Walmart and Coborn’s, the food shelf doesn’t need to buy as much from its Second Harvest Food Bank, Neumann said. But the clients who need the food shelf continue coming in and Princeton Pantry also has the added overhead now of paying rent to have its secondary store at 507 1st St. The First Street store, as the Princeton Pantry staff calls it, is where the nearly-expired items are picked up. The Princeton Pantry board opened that store because the main food shelf building behind K-Bob Cafe was out of room.
Princeton Pantry needs to continue receiving donations every month beyond the March food drive, Neumann said. She also encourages gardeners to plant a little extra this year that they could then consider giving to Princeton Pantry.
The Princeton Pantry hours at both buildings are 1-3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 9-11 a.m. on Fridays.