FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Food pantries and alternative “community pantries,” have been short on donated canned goods. 

Locations of every community pantry in and around Fort Wayne

Forward Indiana,  a group that is committed to re-uniting communities and encouraging collective awareness and action, started “community pantries” during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a similar model to the Little Library’s “take a book leave a book,” system. 

Those with surplus could leave nonperishables in the boxes, and those in need could take them without contact. 

The only issue is that while the box system has been a success, the need for food in the boxes themselves is high.

“Families depend on these pantries now, we’ve been in the community for over a year and a half… If you have the means to share, please think of the pantries, think of you’re neighbors, the need is huge right now, ” said Sarah Thompson, who heads up the community boxes with Forward Indiana.

These community pantries aren’t the only facing drop offs in donations.

Carmen Cumberland with the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana says they are seeing a similar struggle.

When talking about food need she said, “The number have increased significantly, the numbers are up about 38% since just January of this year. And then you also have to take into account that the emergency allotment of snap is going away also, and people are really relying on that money.”

Thompson says that if everyone can “do what they can,” it would make a big difference.

You can donate to the Community Harvest Foodbank here, and you can donate to any of the community pantry locations at any time or follow their posts here.