OLD TOWN – It was a rough winter financially for many people, and Crossroads Ministries was no exception.

It was so bad in fact that Crossroads, whose food pantry and thrift shop are used by hundreds of area people, is doing something unprecedented for the non-profit – it is asking the public for financial donations to help it keep going.

“Our cash flow right now is horrible,” said Keith Whitmore, executive director of Crossroads. “Our costs are typically about $80,000 to $90,000 annually, but this winter really hurt us. At one time we were going through 100 gallons of heating oil a week.”

While folks may just usually think of Crossroads as needing food donations, it also relies on help from the public in covering those operating costs, which include utilities, transportation, a modest payroll, supplies, and building upkeep.

“And while people think we get it for free, most of what we hand out is bought (at a discount) from Good Shepherd Food Pantry,” said Ronnie Muprhy, president of Crossroad’s board of directors.

In addition to financial help, Crossroads has been struggling with its food stockpile, with increased demand because of the rough winter being a big factor. According to Whitmore, 659 area families currently are using Crossroad’s services,

“We absolutely need more tomato products, more meat, tuna, canned chicken and canned vegetables in particular,” said Whitmore. “We have just barely enough on our shelves right now to keep up. Anything folks can do to help out will be most appreciated.”

Items also are needed for the thrift store at Crossroads, including furniture of all sizes; household items, such as pots and pans, lamps, dishes, etc.; clothing; hand and power tools; and sporting goods.

Crossroads is located at the corner of Wood and Main Streets, For more information, call 817-6025 or email pastorkeith@gmail.com.

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