Neighbor to Neighbor food pantry
If you're hungry and in the Valley Springs area, there is help.
The "Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry" is an outreach ministry that helps distribute food to hungry families. The program, based in the Good Samaritan Church, has been around since 2003. It is open to the public each Saturday morning from 9:00am to 11:00am.
The Food Pantry has a simple mission: to feed hungry people. They don't discriminate on the basis of income, or any other criteria. As Heidi Miller, the program's head, will attest, they offer assistance "no questions asked." All one needs to do is show up, and they can benefit from what the Food Pantry has to offer.
Although people might have preconceived notions of who needs food assistance most, Heidi says that the largest groups she sees are working families, especially families whose trade is construction. It's one of the main reasons they're open on Saturday mornings, to accommodate the largest number of people possible. Beyond that, Heidi also sees the elderly, people on fixed incomes, single parents, and nearly any walk of life.
The Food Pantry is funded in large part by a fixed budget of $3,000, set by the church. Beyond that, the Food Pantry depends on donations from the church's congregation and other private parties, and some grant funds. For those thinking about donating food or funds, Heidi notes that monetary donations are best. This is simply because the Food Pantry can wrangle foodstuff much more efficiently and less expensively than an individual could, maximizing every dollar spent. Anyone interested can contact Heidi via the contact information at the end of this article.
Another, more creative method of funding and promotion is "Foodstock '08," a benefit music festival being held on Saturday, May 31st 2008, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Admission is free, but if you're wondering how a free event is going to help raise money, fear not: Foodstock '08 will feature six bands, a barbecue dinner, silent auction, raffle, as well as simply drawing attention to the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry program. Of course, monetary and food donations will also be accepted. The Foodstock event benefits from sponsorships by area businesses, who have several different methods by which they can contribute. Aside from direct monetary contributions, businesses offer their services, gift certificates or donated items for Foodstock to raffle off and for the silent auction that is being held the day of the event.
The Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry is clearly not content to wait for success to come to it: they are taking several steps to raise awareness for their cause and keep the issue of hunger at the forefront of people's consciousness. In addition to the Foodstock '08 event, Heidi and her crew are spreading the word with the Good Samaritan Church website (www.gsccc.net), the Foodstock '08 website (www.foodstock.info). In addition, they regularly name and solicit a "food of the month," asking for a food that is in short supply, keeping needs fresh and specific in people's minds. As if this weren't enough, more events are being planned, including an upcoming live music event that will be hosted by Common Grounds, a new coffee house in Valley Springs.
For more information, contact Heidi Miller:
Ph: 209-786-2526 (home)
Street address: 4684 Baldwin St. Valley Springs, CA 95252