Demand is up at a local food pantry and, to meet the need, the pantry will host a food collection drive Labor Day weekend.
Employees of Sears, Roebuck & Co. in the Janss Mall have volunteered to collect food at the store for the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank. Collection sites will be open at each store entrance during regular business hours Friday through Monday.
Pauline Saterbo, the food bank’s administrator, said every month her organization serves more than 3,560 people who need food. The number has risen over the last few years.
Many Conejo Valley residents, she said, don’t realize that hunger exists in their community.
“They look at all the big houses and think everything’s OK,” she said. “But you never know what’s going on behind that door.”
Manna has geared the food drive, titled “Back to School Food for Manna,” toward collecting items for breakfast or school lunches, including cereal, juice packets and peanut butter. Non-perishable food items and household goods, such as shampoo, detergent and tissue paper, are also welcome.
At the collection sites, the Sears volunteers will also accept cash donations or checks made out to Manna. The money will be used to buy chicken, meat and dairy products.