Local food bank sees dip in donations | TheUnion.com

Local food bank sees dip in donations

A decline in donations to the Interfaith Food Ministry in Grass Valley has forced the program to cut back the amount of food it gives to the hungry, the organization’s president said today.

The Interfaith Food Bank has served the homeless, the unemployed and the needy in Nevada County for 20 years. But this year, the local food bank cut its budget by nearly $30,000, due to fewer donations.

As a result, clients of the food bank are receiving lesser food than before, according to Tony Gilchrease, president of the organization.

“Normally, we collect $10,000 a month from individuals and churches. Those donations are down to maybe $7,000 to $8,000 a month,” Gilchrease said. “I assume it’s because food prices are up and gasoline prices are very high, so people don’t have extra money to donate. …

“We buy a great deal of the food we give away ” mostly canned goods, meat and cereals,” Gilchrease said. “We are unfortunately not able to purchase as much food as we have in the past.

The Interfaith Food Ministry receives donations from local supermarkets, churches, social organizations, clubs and individuals.

It serves an average of 400 to 500 families a week, Gilchrease said. With help from more than 400 volunteers, the organization gave out about 68,000 bags of groceries in 2006, he added.

According to him, 180 families got food from the ministry last Friday alone.

“Once a month, clients get a bag of staples that include spaghetti, tomato sauce, peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruits, tuna and soup,” Gilchrease said. “Once a week, they get a bag of rice, oats, dried beans, Ramen noodles, eggs, and produces like milk, bread, and deli, if we have them.”

Food is given out three times weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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