“It’s heartbreaking when you talk to them, to feel that, what that experience is like for them,” Jane Doorley said.
The pantry is also seeing more families who have lost their homes and are living with relatives. A woman will pull up in a car with her kids, her sister and her sister’s kids in the backseat, Jane Doorley said. The pantry will give out sleeping bags and pillows for those families so they can coexist with their relatives, she said.
“We’re seeing lately the need is more intense. The federal stimulus checks have long been spent,” she said.
Fairborn FISH volunteers gather to give out Thanksgiving meals in November. CONTRIBUTED
The pantry has paid rent and utility bills for people through CARES Act money the city of Fairborn received. Without the CARES Act money, the pantry wouldn’t have been able to help as many people as they have, Jane Jane Doorley said.
The Fairborn food pantry helps everyone, she said. When base employees are furloughed, they go to FISH. About 20% of Wright State students are food insecure, she said, so the pantry helps college students.
Single parents working two or three jobs might not have time to go to the food pantry when it’s open on Tuesdays and Fridays, Doorley said, so it’s piloting a new program with The Foodbank, which serves people in the Miami Valley, to set a time to pick up their food after 5 p.m.
The pantry has become a mini-community center, she said, and she tries to get to know everyone who comes in.
The volunteers at Fairborn FISH inspire Jane Doorley to keep going.
“You can see when they’re talking to the neighbors in need, their generosity and love and kindness toward their neighbors,” she said.
Throughout the month of December, the Dayton Daily News will tell the stories of people who have persevered and inspired others during this challenging year. Tell us who inspired you in 2020 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.