Food pantry coming to Valley Falls
by Clarke Davis
In an effort to alleviate hunger, especially among local children, the doors will open soon on a food pantry in Valley Falls.
Joyce Brown, Barbara Tosh, and Jeri Clark said the idea grew out of the health assessment meeting held a couple of months ago by the Jefferson County Health Department.
The pantry will be located in the east end of the Stewart Hardware Store, space donated by store owner Alyse Stewart.
The first day will be Wednesday, May 30, with hours from 10 a.m. to noon every Wednesday and Saturday thereafter.
An account for cash donations has been established at the Kendall State Bank where a dropbox will also be located for donations of food.
The women said there will be no restrictions or guidelines for those coming for food. A person in need will simply be asked to sign their name and provide the number of children in the family. They will then make their own food selections from what is available in the pantry.
They noted that if a person is unable to drive or come to the pantry for some reason, a volunteer could assist and deliver the food to a residence.
The pantry will be affiliated with the Harvesters Community Food Network and will be federally tax exempt through the local United Methodist Church.
Through Harvesters, the pantry can obtain food for as little as 10 cents a pound and garner grants. With the aid of the hardware store, the pantry will not have any overhead or operating costs.
The timing is somewhat critical, coming at the end of the school term when children will no longer have access to the breakfast and hot lunch served at school. Some children also take advantage of the BackSnack program, whereby children from needy families leave school on Friday with extra food for the weekend, and then return their backpack Monday to be refilled.
Clark noted that Harvesters also has educational programs that teach parents how to cook and prepare food.
“We hear stories of elderly people who have to choose between food and medicine,” Brown said. “We hope this will be a benefit to those people.”
Tosh, a 42-year veteran teacher, said she was unaware until recently about the need for food.
“We do have children who are hungry,” she said. “We are going to make this work.”
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=12842