Local food pantry in need of winter clothing donations

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Posted January 19, 2015 --- 7:25 a.m.

A local food pantry that provides free clothing to their guests is struggling to keep up with the demand for winter wear.

The River Food Pantry says they frequently see people without proper winter attire, but with a supply so low, they sometimes can't help them.

They're now turning to the public for some much needed help.

"Today, I'm looking for a nice new scarf," declares Clayton Pennywell. He's just one of hundreds who utilizes The River Food Pantry's free clothing area.

"The winter gear is actually a big deal for me," explains Pennywell. "I live outside so I have to layer properly and have a nice coat. It's been a big deal with the coat."

Winter wear has been in high demand as temperatures continue to dip low, and volunteers at The River say they simply cannot keep up.

"That will not last through the day," says The River's development director, Pat Gallagher, as he gestures to a rack of coats.

They are in desperate need of coats, boots, gloves, and scarves.

"It's a scary thing," says Gallagher, "especially when we do get that extreme cold that we've had the last couple weeks, that ten below zero and the windchill of forty below and no mittens, no hats, no winter coats. It's a scary situation."

A situation they hope will be resolved soon, with the help of donations.

"Winter won't be over soon, we've got another couple months to go through this and hopefully we can make it stretch."

Donations can be dropped off at The River Food Pantry from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are located at 2201 Darwin Rd. in Madison.