BEATRICE - The Community Food Pantry in Beatrice has been providing the needy for over 50 years and that continues as we approach the holiday season.

The pantry is located in the basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beatrice. Karen Mains and her volunteers are providing those in need with all the necessities for a proper Thanksgiving dinner.

“For Thanksgiving, we’re giving out the turkey, the stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, the crust,” Mains said. “We’re giving everything out to make a Thanksgiving dinner.”

This isn’t something new for Mains and the food pantry. Each and every year they help countless people in need.

“We’ve been doing it for so long and we help a lot of needy people,” Mains said. “We have helped over 5,000 people over the past years.”

One thing that has changed, is how the pantry gets donations. Normally, there would be one day where hundreds of volunteers would help collect donations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t allow for that last holiday season and the same goes for this year.

“We did it all by E-Mail and letter,” Mains sad. “We sent it to all the churches, businesses, organizations, individuals and the food donations are really starting to come in. Also, monetary gifts, which are great because I can buy exactly what we need.”

The pantry provides the turkey as well as the trimmings and some instructions. Without the pantry, many wouldn’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving the proper way.

“We get a lot of thank you’s, some of them are just so so grateful,” Mains said. “They’re grateful to be able to have a turkey, plus all the trimmings to have a Thanksgiving.”

Mains said the pantry wouldn’t be able to do what they do, without the community support.

“Everybody has been so helpful to this pantry to feed the needy and keep food on our shelves and I really appreciate that,” Mains said.

The pantry is open on Monday’s and Thursday’s from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and St. John's Lutheran is located at 701 N. 6th St. in Beatrice.