South Brevard pantry urgently needs donations

A Brevard County nonprofit continues to try to help those in need, even though they themselves are in dire need.

Pantry shelves at South Brevard Sharing Center are nearly bare due to what workers there call the highest demand they’ve ever seen.


What you need to know

  • Pantry workers at the South Brevard County Participation Center say there has been a significant increase in need from the community
  • Even after a $6,000 donation from Publix in June, the nonprofit is still dealing with empty shelves
  • Sharing Center officials say the facility is in dire need of food donations right now

Two weeks ago, the living situation changed dramatically for Michelle, a single mother, her charitable daughter, and newborn Laila.

“It’s recently started to be tough on me,” Michelle said, explaining that because of her current situation, she can’t even buy groceries.

“You go for something worth $2, and now it’s $8,” she said. “It used to be buying a full buggy for $150, now it’s like $350.”

Michelle said she had never heard of the food pantry at South Brevard Sharing Center.

“I come to places like this and I just want to cry because I’m so grateful,” she said.

Michelle isn’t the only one needing the staples, and Chris Stagman and the pantry staff say they’re busier than ever.

Right now, Stagman says, 100 bags of non-perishable goods are delivered each day — and once food donations arrive, they fly back on the shelves.

“Last month we did about 1,200 beds in June, which is a record for us,” he said. “The need is so great now.”

Most of the people who come to help are blue-collar, hard-working families trying to stay afloat as food and gas prices soar, Stagman said.

“They are getting left behind and getting some help from us, and we try not to get carried away by anyone,” he said.

The sharing center is also lagging behind, Stagman said, and a $6,000 food donation from Publix in June actually disappeared.

And now, he says, the shelves are about to be empty again.

“We do our best, but we fall short,” Stigman said. “Hopefully society will come forward, we need peanut butter and canned goods.”

For Michelle, while her cart full of groceries doesn’t cost her anything, she said her value is immeasurable.

“Very grateful and grateful,” she said, referring to a staff member. “Look at her, isn’t this an angel from God, isn’t that an angel?”

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