With many residents looking for an alternative way to fill the cupboards during tight economic times, the Marysville Food Pantry has seen an upswing in users this summer.

With many residents looking for an alternative way to fill the cupboards during tight economic times, the Marysville Food Pantry has seen an upswing in users this summer.

"Predominantly we assist Marys-ville. There are about six food pantries for the whole county, and we each try to have a designated area, but we try to help out the other pantries when they need to get caught up," said Keitha Simpson, the secretary and treasurer.

The pantry receives much of its food from the MidOhio Food Bank, as well as local growers. This season, the pantry has received more than 2,500 pounds of fresh produce harvested from community gardens at ScottsMiracle-Gro, Simpson said.

"We've received literally tons from them this summer, they planted some special above-ground gardens for us this year," she said.

Anyone who registers with the pantry is eligible to walk away with some groceries, Simpson said.

"Families can come in once a month, and at that time we give out boxes according to family size," she said. "The food bank likes us to give out at least three days' worth of food per family member, but I think Marysville has far exceeded that since our beginning. We try to give about 25 meals per box. Families can get bread products, frozen meat, eggs and cheese from us, it just depends sometimes on what time of year and what has been donated to us."

Simpson said that since the pantry operates under the oversight of the Department of Agriculture, it is subject to the department's rules, but currently all that is required for a resident to receive food from the pantry is proof of residency, photo identification and identification for each family member.

"They can come once a month. We don't ever ask for income requirements. We haven't for a long time," Simpson said.

Simpson added that while the food pantry hasn't seen a massive increase in users this summer, the numbers have been increasing

"It has picked up some," she said. "We have had some really nice people that haven't ever had to use our sort of facility before. We try to make the experience as friendly and painless for them as we can."

With the growing season nearly at it's end, Simpson said the pantry is typically "out of luck" in the winter months, depending more heavily on monetary donations.

"We used to be able to get produce from the large grocers, but after the big food scares last year they have cut back on that," she said. "We try to get what we can, but what's coming in drops dramatically. Right now we're coming up on the holiday season."

Simpson said that those wishing to donate to the food pantry should consider bringing boxed cereals, canned vegetables, tuna fish, spaghetti sauce and other non-perishable items, or consider monetary donations.

"We can take that money to the (MidOhio Food Bank) and buy food for pennies on the dollar, since we're affiliated," she said. "We can buy more there than an average customer at the grocery store."

The Marysville Food Pantry is located at 333 Ash Street. More information on receiving food from the pantry can be found by contacting Simpson at 1740-274-1657.