Editor, The News:
Re: What’s up at food bank? (Letters, March 3).
On behalf of the board of directors for the Friends in Need Food Bank, I would like to address the letter by D. Wik.
Currently, the food bank fills between 500-600 hampers a month. This represents more than 12,000 pounds of food. This does not include the bread, pastries or meat and produce items we distribute each month. This past Christmas season, we gratefully received approximately 40,000 pounds of food. That was down 20,000 pounds from the previous two years.
Our hampers contain food supplements for three to four days. These hampers have been packed in the same manner for more than three years. They all contain soup, canned fish or meat, pasta, pasta sauce, canned vegetables, canned fruit, cereal, meal in a can, coffee or tea.
These hampers also contain extras, as available, like dry soups, Jell-O, instant noodles, boxed potatoes, hamburger helper, and muffin mix. They are, in fact, larger than in the past.
During our Family Extras week, we provide, juice, eggs, pancake mix, syrup, paper products, laundry soap, flour, cooking oil, condiments whatever comes to us that would not go in a regular hamper.
These items are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
However, that equates to about 130 families during that week.
We also provide extra’s for couples and singles, as available.
We have a pet food program. All one has to do is ask.
At Christmas, we have not given out certificates for several years, as that program is handled by another community agency. However, we do increase the contents of the hampers, and this past Christmas we provided a fresh ham, fresh potatoes, carrots and onions, as well as Christmas cakes, margarine, pickles, teas and candy.
We still offer good clean clothing and household items when we have them on Week 1.
Thanks to Black Bond Books, we have books available for children to take home at any time. We have baby products available to families. We provide milk once a month to all families with children under 12 and to our seniors. This past month, we supplemented that with yogurt.
Our personal products program is distributed twice a year. This includes soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant.
Bread, pastries, and other items are available every day.
We work with other community partners to ensure that any abundance goes to those who are in need.
We are also supplying special packs to people that present with no fixed address.
As the stewards of the food in our community, we make sure it is distributed as needed.
Our goal is to offer a hand up, not a hand out.
I am always pleased to talk to anyone from our community in regards to our services.
Friends in Need
Food Bank Society