Food Banks

Potatoes, lettuce, canned foods, tuna, onions and garlic, tortillas, cereal. It’s the basics they were handing out to be sure — but a lot of hands went into packing each grocery bag.

The items handed out Monday of last week by volunteers with the Fresh Start Food Bank in Lewiston came from a variety of sources.

“We saw there was a need so a group of us got together and started having meetings and figured out a plan of attack,” said Jeff England who started the food bank in Lewiston with his wife, Krishann.

They put out bags on doorsteps to collect donations, held fundraisers, and more.

“It helps,” said Autume Spohn of Lewiston as she left with her bag of food. Spohn has four children ages six months to 13 years.

“It’s good for the community,” another recipient said, adding that many in the community are older or disabled with low incomes.

In a recent report from a program of the U.S. Census Bureau, Trinity County’s median household income in 2012 was the lowest in the state.

Endeavors similar to the one in Lewiston provide food for those in need in other parts of Trinity County through the Douglas City Soup Kitchen, Community Food Cupboard of Weaverville, Hayfork Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, Junction City Food Bank and Food for Folks of Hyampom.

Each has its own organization and core group of volunteers. At the Douglas City Soup Kitchen, for example, members of five churches take turns preparing the meals.

Food drives by Tops Super Foods have been a big help to several of the food banks, England said, and Northern Valley Catholic Social Services of Trinity County has also been a valuable partner.

Markets around the county have contributed to the food banks, which also distribute government commodities.

The food banks and soup kitchens, each of which keeps different hours, team up to help keep Trinity County residents from going hungry. Some have been operating for well over 20 years and some recently started up.

The need has been increasing, and the organizations are stepping up efforts to meet that need, England said.

Last year the Lewiston food bank received a Redding Rancheria grant for $4,000.

This year the six food banks and soup kitchens are working together to seek grant funding from the Humboldt Area Foundation, Northern Valley Catholic Social Services, Sierra Pacific Foundation, Trinity Trust and Redding Rancheria Foundation.

The grant requests is for $4,000 per food bank or soup kitchen for a total of $24,000 to be used for purchase of bulk food items.

“They wanted to give us a larger grant that would go to more entities,” England said. “We’re just trying to make sure everybody in our county gets help and try to raise money for all of them.”

Also, a grant request for six freezers has been submitted to the McConnell Foundation.

The public can also help with donations of food and money.

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