Food shelf provides assistance, connection during pandemic

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, LifeEnterprise

Pat Nusbaum, coordinator of the WE Share Food Shelf in Elysian, stocks shelves during one of the rare quiet moments at the local food shelf. Nusbaum has found connecting with those in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic just as vital as their need for food assistance. (Lisa Ingebrand Photo)

For 38 years, the WE Share Food Shelf in Elysian has provided food to those in need in the Waterville and Elysian area.

While the year-long COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for food assistance, the local food shelf’s numbers have remained steady.

“The need has definitely gone up, but we are serving about the same number of families—between 40 and 50—we did at this time last year,” stated food shelf coordinator Pat Nusbaum.

This conundrum is explained by a change of clients.

“We’ve gotten a lot of new families. People are struggling to make ends meet during this health crisis, but we’ve also had a number of people move away, and quite a few have passed away since last year,” Nusbaum explained. “We help lots of senior citizens in the area.”

Unlike many food shelves, the WE Share Food Shelf allows each...

To see more on this story pick up the March 4, 2021 print edition of the LifeEnterprise.

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