The Salida Community Center has started a new food program to further help families and those in need. The Community Corner Food Pantry provides nutritious food to people in the community. The center received a $40,000 grant that allows the center to purchase food for distribution.
From 10:00 a.m. to 2:0 p.m. every second and fourth Wednesday of the month starting in March and going through June, the center will hold the Community Center Food Pantry. Those who wish to receive food are asked to fill out a form with information about their household and what specific healthy food items they wish to receive. Examples include milk, eggs, flour, almond milk, broccoli, apples and noodles. The center will try and have the requested items at the pantry available for pickup during their Food Pantry hours.
Director of the Community Center, Elaine Allemang explained this process. “What we try to do is try to get things for a lot of these people. Some families like to cook, some families don’t. Some families are really large and some of them aren’t.”
She added “[Usually], whenever we hand food out, we fill a box and hand them the food. All the boxes are the same. If they tell us they have four or five in their family, we give them an extra box but still that doesn’t help them on some of the items that they need.”
The center has taken the requests a step further and works to buy items for those with health restrictions. “What we’ve done, and we started last time, we try to find out if they need gluten-free and specific items that they want. A lot of them have been wanting things like flour, sugar, oil, rice, hamburger meat.”
Using monies from the grant, Allemang has worked to not only provide fresh food but as much local food as possible. “When I applied for it, I told them I want to try and buy everything local that I can. [Pam Sterle] at the Drunken Muffin, she is baking a lot of gluten-free breads and things like that for me so come Wednesday we can actually give gluten-free.”
“I work with Turner Farms; they bring in pork. I order Scanga Meat. When they come in to get the food it’s basically not commodity food, it is top of the line stuff,” she said.
“I also have worked with Sweet Pea Farms to bring in organic eggs. This time they are going to be bringing me in locally grown honey. So, $40,000 is a lot but you spend it in a hurry. I want to keep it all as locally as I can.”
The pandemic has hit many hard. Whether it is a loss of job or a lull in business, Allemang is working to support the community in every way possible. She explained “Everything is basically wholesale that I buy but then that way it’s helping everybody in the community, it’s not just helping people that need food. Its helping all of these mom and pops around here that nearly went under during COVID.”
To sign up for the Community Corner Food Pantry, pick up a form at the Salida Community Center located at 305 F Street between 9:00 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday. Or, with any further questions contact email@example.com