Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hancock County Food Pantry



11/30
Through incredibly indirect channels, I heard from Jim stating the funding fell through for his load of food, BUT that through phoning for funding, he was able to secure tons (literally) of food for the Bay side Food Distribution - which gives food to all Gulf Coast food pantries. So all was not lost! A greater good was taken care of, even if the HC pantry is still in great need.
11/10
Jim from KenTenn emailed me last week with the news he was renting a 26' truck to fill with food and take where it was needed. After some quick emails to the folks at Citizen Action Team's database, I believe we got it filled! He was leaving on the 6th to make his way down - I gave him all the contact information on getting to the Food Pantry. Will update as soon as I hear...

10/23 Make a Difference Day Activity for 10/28
Laurianne wrote to me and they are doing a Make a Difference Day Food Drive at a store in Diamondhead. Good for them! Will keep you posted on the effort's success.

10/12
My dad just put me in charge of trying to get together the turkeys for Thanksgiving. We are trying to get $10.00 gift certificates to Wal-Mart so each family can purchase a turkey. The Food Pantry will provide them with boxes of "fixins" to go with. As you know money is extremely tight right now. They have finally had to go to each family only getting food every 2 months instead of once a month (we are hoping that is temporary). Instead of using the minimal money they have we are hoping to get a sponsor (or various sponsors) to help us get the gift cards. These will go to registered clients of the Food Pantry - all fit standard FDA requirements (incredibly low income, etc...truly amazing some of them get by at all).

Any ideas? I sent a posting to Katrina's Angels to see if anyone there had thoughts on this too. I appreciate any avenues you can think of!

Thanks :)

Take Care,

Laurianne
Lauri203 AT yahoo DOT com

10/18
A woman from Vestal, NY emailed to asking if they accept checks. Yes! And so she is sending one!

9/6 - Laurianne has been kind enough to send me an update.
The AC has been fixed! I can't imagine having to work in that heat without AC. They are still in need of a walk-in cooler. Can anyone help out with this? I had leads on 2, but I guess they didn't follow through. Hopefully someone will make good on their word.

Now - needs -
Food is at a premium right now. With people moving back, the normal shortage from summer, the dropped unemployment benefits and increasing unemployment overall, the needs are far outweighing the supply. And - get this - any foods the food pantry buys must include sales tax! Who heard of such a thing? They'd be better off to pronounce themselves a for profit business.

All non-perishable food items are needed
Copy paper, pens, pencils and other administrative items are needed
Heavy duty paper grocery bags are also needed
Personal hygiene items are needed
Gift cards to Walmart - the only real store in the area still


6/13 - I spoke with Bill Blaisdale re: the food pantry and he needs a walk-in cooler folks. Their AC died a couple of weeks ago and even their non-perishable foods are considering perishing. I know they are pricey, but if anyone knows of one - call the number shown above between 9 and noon M-F.

We may have found one for him, but I've not heard back, so I'm posting the request. So - if you know of a cooler for him - let him know!

I spoke with the Treasurer John a few days ago. Absolutely amazing how these folks just keep on keepin' on.

Their current situation is bleak from my perspective. If they are anything like we are, summer is the worst time for donations anyway, BUT, all of their major donors - The United Way, local churches, and local casinos have all stated their grants would be stopped by the end of June. That accounts for 60-70% of all funding. And the citizens of the area account for the remainder of the donations, and they are the ones that are in the most need.

The Needs List
Gift Cards to Wal-Mart
All Canned Foods - fruit, vegetables, meat, Peanut Butter, Jelly, beans, soup
Dried Foods - flour, rice, pasta, beans, potatoes, grits, sugar, macaroni and cheese, oats, soup
Cooking Oil
Personal Hygiene - Soap, Tissues, TP, Laundry Soap, Dish Soap

Food Pantry's History

THE FOOD PANTRY WAS FOUNDED IN 1986 BY COMMUNITY CHURCHES TO PROVIDE FOOD TO FAMILIES IN TIMES OF CRISIS. OUR TYPICAL CLIENT IS SOMEONE LIVING ON FIXED INCOME OR OUT OF WORK WHO MAY BE LIVING AT OR BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL AND IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE FOOD FOR THEMSELVES AND/OR THEIR FAMILY.

THE FOOD PANTRY WAS INCORPORATED AND REGISTERED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE IN 1986. IT HAS BEEN IN CONTINUOUS OPERATION SINCE 1986 EXCEPT FOR FIVE MONTHS AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA. THE FOOD PANTRY IS A UNITED WAY AGENCY THAT IS AUDITED ANNUALLY.

THE FOOD PANTRY IS STAFFED ENTIRELY BY VOLUNTEERS AND SPENDS IN EXCESS OF 97% OF ALL DONATED FUNDS FOR FOOD AND PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS.

THE FOOD PANTRY HAS FACED INCREASING DEMANDS FOR FREE FOOD IN THE PAST FEW YEARS:

YEAR FAMILIES PERSONS COST/PERSON
2001 2,777 8,054 $5.20
2002 3,397 9,852 $5.81
2003 3,997 11,590 $5.59
2004 4,956 13,801 $6.03
2005(8 months) 3,044 8,172 $7.47

ยท THE FOOD PANTRY LOST ITS BUILDING AND ALL THE FOOD AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT INSIDE DURING HURRICANE KATRINA. THE PANTRY RESUMED OPERATION ON FEBRUARY 1, 2006 IN A TEMPORARY FACILITY IN WAVELAND, MS AND IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 9:00 AM TO 12 NOON.

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