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The shelves remain stocked at Christian Cupboard

Many of the volunteers at Christian Cupboard return year after year to help provide the community with the good will that they need. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

Despite a hurting economy, Christian Cupboard's shelves will remain stocked this holiday season.

Food shelves as a whole have been hurting this year because of the poor economy and the shelves are becoming increasingly bare, but Christian Cupboard president Dick Wolff said they have been fortunate in not feeling the hurt like other community shelves even though they have seen a 20 percent jump in usage from 100 families to 120 families per week since October.

"The people of Woodbury and the area, have always always met our needs year round," he said. "We have never run out, we have never run out of money, the food continues to come."

Wolff said he does have a fear of falling victim to the economy like so many others because of the increase in hardships that people are facing.

He said, traditionally, they would receive gift certificates from a charitable resident but this year they will not be receiving them because of the hardships on everyone.

"Any money he gets his family needs," he said. "There's going to be a lot of people in that position and unfortunately I don't see that letting up anytime in the near future."

This winter alone, Wolff said they have seen a rise in first time food shelf visitors, and that is always the hardest thing for a person to do.

"The hardest time for a person to come to the food shelf is the first time," he said. "In our society, you're considered a failure if you can't feed your family and that takes a whole lot of pride one has to swallow in order to go to a food shelf or ask for help, but we try to make that first visit as comfortable as possible."

To help during the holidays, Christian Cupboard is supplying Christmas baskets which include several bags of food for a holiday meal, in addition to providing gifts to all the children in a family.

"What could be worse on a holiday if you have kids to tell them Santa didn't stop here this year," he said.

Wolff said he is optimistic in Christian Cupboard's ability to keep functioning and providing the help that the community needs, now especially, despite the looming fears.

"I think food shelves in general are going to have a tough time and it's going to get worse before it gets better -- I just hope we all can get through it well," he said. "I want to express how grateful we are to all the donors, and all the people who have supported us through the years and all of our wonderful volunteers."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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