Barbara Lawlor , Nederland
Nederland Food Bank director Chris Current says that last Thursday morning she saw a long train of people come through the center looking for groceries. In the first hour 51 people with cards showed up to fill boxes and bags with food for their families.
Current attributes this spike in need with the rising cost of propane, which has jumped from $2 to $7.50, leaving many households paying the gas bill with the grocery budget. At least three people came in saying their pipes had frozen and they to pay extra to keep the house heated. It was a choice of being cold or eating.
“But the food we give them is just supplemental for a month. Since the flood, we have fed at least 110 people a month. The people who were impacted lost wages and paid more for gas because of the road closures,” says Current.
The Food Bank is not just a handout to the non-working homeless; it is a hand up for the working poor who are maintaining but not gaining. They need help, they need another layer of thoughtfulness and care. Current says the best part is providing people with fresh produce. “If everyone gives a little, everyone can eat.”
It is time for the food bank to maintain more inventory and boost its game.
Inventory is provided by Current, who pays a $250 user fee to Community Food Share where she shops weekly, bringing up about 1,000 pounds of food each week, which is all given away. She says she is limited to what she can get, depending on donations. B & F, Costco, and the Mountain People’s Coop all contribute to the pantry and Current writes many grants to supplement that.
She says that it is not okay to give people just some canned vegetables and pasta entrees. They need a healthy variety of food and that food has to be a substantial, realistic amount.
And that is why the Nederland Food Pantry is holding a fundraiser, which will be the first time the program has appealed to the public. Current says the local businesses have given and given and it is time to open up to the community the chance to give.
“We have never done this before,” says Current.
On Sunday, February 23, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., the NFP will hold a “Stone Soup” fundraiser at the Nederland Community Center. There will be an admission fee of a monetary donation and a non-perishable food item or a personal hygiene item. The donation will cover a meal of a variety of soups, salad, bread, beverage, and brownie.
Silent Auction organizer Maggie May asks that locals donate items to be sold, perhaps objects that you no longer treasure but may be coveted by another resident who would love to purchase them. Artwork, jewelry, pottery, or gifts that have never been opened are typical donations.
There will be a quiet activity table for children as well as a Stone Soup Storyteller and a Stone Toss. TEENS, Inc. and Food Bank clients will help with the activities.