GUERNSEY – The semi load of food boxes arrived Saturday morning for the monthly mobile food pantry that distributes food boxes to 300 families each month.
In addition to the monthly mobile food pantry, the weekly community food pantry is open and this week, a group of volunteers will be smoking and handing out 30 turkeys to families in need.
“We have the turkeys in now,” said Guernsey councilman Kelli Augustyn. “The First Lady (Jennie Gordon) donated 30 turkeys and we also got cash donations for the dry goods to make it a complete Thanksgiving meal. Shane Whitworth and I decided that it would be better to have the turkeys smoked rather than frozen. Steve Orszulak is also smoking some of the turkeys. I have a bunch of volunteers that are going to help me deliver them.”
The Guernsey Community Food Pantry is well-stocked and feeds multiple families every week in addition to the mobile food pantry that is operated by food pantry director Pat Russell. The Food Bank of Wyoming who has been supplying the state with free food during the COVID pandemic will continue to do so through 2021. The program will continue for 2022 but on a more limited basis.
A new program that was added to the Guernsey Community Food Pantry in July deals with the delivery service to people who are shut-in or cannot make it to the pantry for various reasons.
“The service runs twice a month,” Guernsey Community Food Pantry Director Pat Russell said. “The first and the third Thursday. The people will get shopping lists, they fill it out, they give it to the Senior Center and then I pick those up. We then fill their orders, so they get to choose from everything like everybody else. They do get the shopping list as we don’t just put things together for them.”
Those who are deemed eligible for assistance must fill out an application at the Guernsey Community Food Pantry. That is where they can pick up their shopping list or they may also pick one up at the Guernsey Community Food Pantry. In addition, a new shopping list goes out with each box delivered.
Russell also mentioned that the delivery service has dwindled a bit due to people who have been able to get out to the pantry and due to some who have no longer required the service.
“We average about six deliveries on those weeks,” Russell said. “In addition, our food pantry feeds around 25-30 families per week which is our Friday pantry and it has changed its hours to 2-4 p.m. Then the mobile food pantry each month sees on average 300 families being fed.”