Nevada County’s Food Bank is planning to move its Thanksgiving meal distribution location to Grass Valley’s Condon Park in what its executive director described as a “trial run.”
“We are in dire need of a building because our current location does not have enough parking,” said Toni Thompson, the Food Bank’s executive director. “We are not moving the actual warehouse. What we are doing is moving the distribution building to the LOVE building.”
Located in Condon Park, the LOVE Building is the soon-to-be home of Gold Country Community Services, which is scheduled to assume responsibility of the center from the city in January.
With Gold Country’s blessing, the Food Bank’s Nov. 19 use of the LOVE Building is a one-time trial to determine if the charitable distributor can use the facility once a month, Thompson said.
“What’s happening right now is the city leaders in Grass Valley are very hesitant about the Food Bank doing a distribution out of that building,” Thompson said. “So we are on a test drive for the holiday season.”
When the Food Bank began its Thanksgiving distribution of turkeys and other holiday essentials, it did so at Grass Valley’s veterans building. It quickly outgrew the limited parking and moved to Twin Cities Church, but Thompson said they were eventually asked to leave. In recent years, the Food Bank has doled out holiday food at the Salvation Army, she said.
“We notice every year, come Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have more clients because some people who wouldn’t typically come are forced into it because they can’t pull it all off,” Thompson said.
In order to accommodate everyone who needs food, the Food Bank has divided the day up into time slots. Patrons with disabilities are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. Nov. 19, followed by families with a last name between the letters A and K at 10:30 a.m., Thompson said. Families with a last name L through Z are asked to arrive at noon that same day.
“People that come at nine in the morning will get the same amount of food as someone who comes at 12. We will not run out of food,” Thompson said. “If everybody behaves themselves, the city might let us use the building for one day a month. So it is really important that our clients follow the rules.”
Those rules involve acting orderly, not making messes, not smoking near food and other requirements, she said.
“We want people in the community to be able to find us,” Thompson said. “This way, we never turn anybody away, and every family that needs a turkey gets one.”
Officials in the city’s Public Works Department and Gold Country Community Services’ executive director could not be reached for comment Monday.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.