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It remains the great irony of this country - that many citizens of the wealthiest nation on earth cannot afford enough food. The challenge is enormous in many cities, and in our largest city, hit by the recent recession and the results of the World Trade Center attack. Now, as reporter Jim Melchiorre tells us, a church that has focused on this issue for years is very busy once again.  
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SINCE 9/11, DOREEN WOHL SEES MORE HURT IN PEOPLE WHO COME TO THIS FOOD PANTRY.

SHE ALSO SEES MORE PEOPLE - TWICE AS MANY AS WHEN WALL STREET WAS IN FULL BOOM.

Doreen Wohl: “People were hurt, emotionally hurt…and it was not a time that people should come to the pantry and find that there was no food. So we overspent, we spent enough money to keep food on the shelves.”

THE PANTRY’S ALWAYS IN HIGH GEAR, PROVIDING THREE DAYS OF FOOD FOR EACH FAMILY, AND GIVING MORE THAN JUST WHAT’S ON THE SHELVES.

Rosa Espinosa, Pantry Customer: “Around my neighborhood, I went to another church to get some food. It was my first time there, but they talked to me in such a way that I’ve never returned there. I like coming to this place because people treat me with respect here.”

FOLKS WHO COME TO THE PANTRY, INSIDE CENTURY-OLD ST. PAUL AND ST. ANDREW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, KNOW THE WORKERS HERE REALLY CARE - ENOUGH TO SCHEDULE LESSONS ON HEALTHY COOKING…ENOUGH TO RESPECT THEIR CUSTOMERS’ DESIRE TO SHOP FOR THEIR OWN FOOD IN THEIR OWN ETHNIC TRADITIONS.

Doreen Wohl: “And that’s a big difference than the packed bag, where church members pack a bag and hand it out.”

THIS PANTRY SERVES UP THE BEST KIND OF NEIGHBORLINESS, IN A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY AND CHANGE - A REMINDER THAT THESE WALLS HAVE SEEN HARD TIMES MANY TIMES … AND HAVE ALWAYS MADE IT THROUGH.