‘That’s why we’re here’: Those in need can now visit Interfaith Food Ministry once a week
Thanks to grant funding from the Albertson Foundation and fundraising efforts by Grass Valley Safeway stores, Nevada County’s Interfaith Food Ministry can now allow client families to come in for food assistance once per week.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Phil Alonso, the ministry’s executive director. “We did a survey recently, and our clients expressed a strong desire to have access to food more frequently. In the past, clients were allowed to visit IFM for food distributions once every two weeks. This funding effectively doubles the amount of groceries we are able to provide for the community.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food distribution at Interfaith is currently handled as a drive-thru service. Anyone who needs a little extra help can come by from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Clients fill out grocery shopping requests — fresh produce, meat, dairy, staples, bakery items, prepared foods, and even baby food, diapers, and pet food. Volunteers take care of the rest.
“Most clients end up with a shopping cart full of food,” said Interfaith’s Development Director Naomi Cabral. “Large families or multi-person households can even end up with two carts. The Albertson’s Foundation and our two local Safeway stores have been very good partners with us. This funding is specifically earmarked for extra food, and doesn’t expire until the end of the year. We’re looking forward to helping more people than ever.”
Hunger and financial stress continue to negatively impact residents in and around Nevada County.
“Many folks are working harder than ever, yet still not able to pay all of their bills,” Alonso said. “Family budgets are very tight, due to COVID-related challenges, and the rising costs of housing, utilities, childcare, and gas. Even food prices have gone up recently. Getting free groceries can help families and individuals afford all of their other bills.”
“September is Hunger Action Month,” Cabral added. “It’s a great time to get involved with our work. We have a number of volunteer positions at the distribution center. Even remote volunteer work is available. Of course, we also welcome donations any time via mail and at our website.”
Scott Young is a volunteer with Interfaith Food Ministry
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