The dates for the Foodlink Mobile Food Pantry at the Seneca County House of Concern have been set for 2015 with the first scheduled for Wednesday, January 21. Although the times for the deliveries are never certain, Foodlink tries to have their trucks arrive by 3pm on the days of the mobile pantries.
The House of Concern plans to continue hosting the Mobile Pantry once a month in 2015 as well. It has been very successful in the past, and is a wonderful opportunity for people to get a little more food besides their monthly basket. Although the food available varies with each delivery, the truck usually brings fruits and vegetables, dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and bread products, as well as some meats on occasion. Sometimes some other goodies are available, too.
The Mobile Pantry is a project of Food Link. Volunteers are always needed to help distribute the food. If you are interested in helping, please call 568-2433.
The dates for the Mobile Pantry for the rest of 2015 are as follows:
***All mobile pantry visits this year are from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ***
Faced with a 15% cut in funding already in place, and a pending further cut of $4 billion annually, local food pantries and Foodlink, a Rochester based Food Hub that supplies 4 million pounds of food to hungry people in 10 counties were already deeply concerned about being able to provide the basic food needs of people.
The shutdown of the government has multiplied that concern. The shutdown has already cut off the flow of food to Rochester Foodlink, which supplies local food pantries. The government funding is about a quarter of Foodlink’s total budget. If the government shutdown continues, several federally funded nutritional programs will be out of money by the end of the month.
Foodlink has told the food pantries it supplies they may need to ration supplies until the government reopens. “In the face of an increase in demand, coupled with a shrinking food supply, there is absolutely no way we’d be able to meet the need,” said Jeanette Batiste, Foodlink’s chief operating officer.
At the same time two other factors are ominous for the local food supply. First, the numbers of people coming to local pantries is at an all time high, up more than 25% in just the last quarter. Second, current cuts in SNAP will mean $11/month cut in food subsidies.
The cuts effect the most vulnerable people, with single parents, the elderly, the disabled and children receive the bulk of the food from local pantries. Many of the folks receiving food are working part-time jobs with no benefits, many of which pay near minimum wage.
The House of Concern will be holding several mobile markets this year thanks to Foodlink. A Mobile Market is when Foodlink comes out with one of their big trucks which is filled with food to give away. Much of the food will be perishable items such as breads and fresh fruits and vegetables. Everyone who could use a little extra food is welcome to come. There is no income, age or residency requirement. The service is free.
There is also an opportunity to purchase some foods at a bargain. The list of what can be purchased is not available until a day or two before each event. Check our website or “Seneca Daily” for the list.
The dates and times are as follows:
April 26th 5:00-7:00
May 31st 3:00-5:00
July 31st 3:00- 5:00
August 30th 5:00-7:00
Oct 23rd 3:00-5:00
December 4th 3:00-5:00
SNAP, The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is what was formerly called food stamps. If you or someone you know has ever wondered if you were eligible for them or you just want information, come to our office on the third Friday of every month where we will have Jerome Nathanial from Foodlink in to give information and prescreen people. He is a wealth of information on the subject. If you have been denied food stamps, then plan to come in and see him and perhaps he will be able to explain why or maybe help you to reapply for them. He will also be training some of our employees and volunteers to do screenings.
We have information and applications here if you would like to read more about it. Come and check it out or pass the word on to a friend. You have nothing to lose by checking it out and you may find yourself with a little extra grocery money.
The Foodlink mobile pantry will come to Seneca Falls six times before year end, offering an opportunity for folks to get a variety of food including fresh produce. The pantry is furnished by Foodlink out of Rochester and will come to the Seneca County House of Concern.
Here is the schedule:
April 26th- 5-7pm
May 31st 3-5pm
July 31st 3-5pm
August 30th 5-7pm
October 23rd 3-5pm
December 4th 3-5pm
Volunteers will be needed to help with food distribution. There are no financial requirements for receiving food, which is provided at no cost to the recipients. There will also be frozen food products available for purchase at reduced prices.
Product availability and dates are subject to change.