An increase of almost 30 percent in the call for services at the food pantry of Good Samaritan Ministries is putting a strain on its team of approximately 200 volunteers.

“When the need goes up, our need for volunteers also goes up,” Executive Director Angelia Bostick said. “Some days, the volunteers are so busy that they don’t have a moment to sit down from the time they get here to the time we close.”

Food pantry distribution and the interview process are manned by volunteers and supervised by staff, Bostick said.

“Our volunteers are being worn out by the number of families they serve in a day,” Bostick said. “We are seeking way to improve our delivery system without incurring additional expense before the holidays hit, and our numbers explode further. We are also looking at doing a major volunteer recruitment campaign since we are so dependent on volunteer labor.”

Most of the ministry’s volunteers are from area churches, Bostick said, and that’s where the initial appeals for further manpower will be made.

“Church members understand why we’re doing this, and it keeps in line with our purpose,” Bostick said.

“After all, we are a ministry.”

But others interested in the program are welcome to help as well.

After a recent expansion, Good Samaritan has 15,000 square feet of space in downtown Brownwood at 305 Clark. The office telephone number is 643-2273.