Food Pantry Shelves in Prince William County Go Bare

"This doesn't happen that often"

A food pantry in Prince William County, Virginia, serves at least 180 families in need every week, but last week its shelves were completely bare.

The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry in Haymarket, Virginia, was all out of food on Friday. A post to the volunteer-run organization's Facebook page showed the empty shelves.

"This doesn't happen that often," volunteer coordinator Laura Smith said. "I'm kind of shocked that we had to do a callout."

Smith has volunteered with the food pantry for the past five years and remembered only a few times the shelves had ever gone totally bare.

The food pantry was restocked with many items by Tuesday morning, but they still need nonperishable foods, including cereal, oatmeal and canned meats.

For a full list of staples the food pantry needs, see its website.

The food pantry is located at 6611 Jefferson St., near I-66 exit 40. Donations are accepted there and at other sites in Gainesville, Haymarket and Warrenton.

The food pantry is open Saturday morning and Tuesday and Thursday nights and serves at least 60 families each day. Unlike many food pantries, the Haymarket food pantry has no geographic limits and will serve anyone who needs food.

Smith said she expects the food pantry's supply to dwindle over the summer, as schools that collect donations are on summer break. Summer vacation hits many families hard.  

"When the kids are out of school for the summer, many of them don't get the food they normally get at school," Smith said.

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