Monday, June 21, 2010

First Missionary Baptist Church

Meeting with Terri Lewis—First Missionary Baptist Church
June 8, 2010
(540)639-5144(h) (540)230-1862(c)

First Missionary Baptist Church is host to an emergency assistance food pantry, located in their basement. The food pantry has no requirements to qualify for assistance and will assist anyone with food needs. There are no regular hours of operation as food is given on an “as needed” base. They serve around ten households a month and have about three clients they would consider as “regulars”. For the most part their pantry is used as a one-stop-shot for food assistance. They are also very good about referring the people they serve to other organizations that might be able to assist better than themselves.

Most of their donations come from the congregation of the church in monetary and food form.

-Emergency Task Force Fund Pulaski—They take donations for utility assistance.
-Salvation Army—They send volunteers for various projects throughout the year.

They have a number of volunteers that they said would be willing to assist other programs.

Would like to join with other organizations.
May benefit from partnering with other Second Harvest agencies for orders. (They are not an agency).

Pulaski Community Action

Meeting with Janet Johnson—Pulaski Community Action NRV
June 3, 2010

Pulaski Community Action is directed by Janet Johnson. New River Community Action Inc. is an emergency assistance program and is not meant to act as a sustainable means of assistance to individuals. There are offices located in each county of the New River Valley and one office in Radford City. Each office operates independently from each other and has a different set of rules and guidelines for who receives assistance. Pulaski Community Action allows clients to come for food assistance once a month and how no limits on the amount of visits a particular client can make.

Pulaski Community Action has several different programs that reside under their umbrella:
Emergency Home Repair: Homeowners register with Community Action to receive small home repairs that will make their homes safer, warmer, or dryer. A group called Hearts and Hammers usually carries out the work. Occasionally a summer youth camp called SPY! (Service Project Youth!) will complete some of the repairs.
Virginia Cares: This is a program that helps recently released convicts build occupational skills, find employment, and transition back into society.
Emergency Food Assistance: Clients can come once a month to receive emergency food. Clients are accepted based on income.

-Food Lion—Funding, Feeding America Boxes, and discounts on food.
-Daily Bread Pulaski—occasional food storage.
-Hunters for the Hungry—meat during hunting seasons.
-Pepperidge Farm—Donate Bread
-Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)—occasionally provides classes for clients.

-Food Lion Foundation grants
-Community Donations

Needs-More meat and perishable items.
-More space for the pantry, however an offsite location would not benefit them. This leads to complications because the space they have available to them is not large enough and there does not seem to be a way to relocate the pantry within the existing facility.
-Paper products, sanitary products, and detergent.
-Would like to have more education available for clientele
-Believes there is a growing need for more affordable housing i.e. subsidized housing, Section 8 housing, HUD housing, etc.
-More jobs and training.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meeting with Nancy Haynie—Giles Christian Mission
May 25, 2010
(540) 921-3006(o) (540)599-8292 ©

The Giles Christian Mission was started in 1964 and has four different programs that fall under their umbrella. They are a clothing bank, a kid’s summer food program, a Lions Club Shopping Tour, and an emergency food assistance program.
Clothing Bank
They are one of the only clothing banks in the NRV. The bank allows clients the opportunity to “shop” for free clothing. Clients receive free clothing, but also have a choice at the same time.
Summer Program
During the summer many children who receive free or reduced lunch have a hard time getting enough food to eat. The Mission works with the school system to choose 60 elementary school students to receive a box of food each month of the summer. Food items are easy to prepare so if the lack of adult supervision is an issue the students can still eat what has been provided.
Shopping Tour
The Lions Club Shopping Tour is a unique opportunity for 60 or more elementary students to buy Christmas gifts for their family. Working with the school system the Lions Club chooses children to give $50 for Christmas spending. That money is then able to be spent at the Giles Christian Mission to buy gifts, no items is more than $5. The Mission works all year to collect donations of toys, new coats, make-up, and other gift items for this event. The money from the Tour is put into the Mission and ultimately back into the community.
Emergency Food
The Missions emergency food assistance program gives clients who meet federal regulations a box of food, based on household size, once every three months. This program is not meant to act as a supplement for food needs, but instead to assist a family or individual in an emergency situation.

The clientele are from Giles County and must meet the normal federal guidelines to receive assistance. If a client is eligible for SNAP Benefits or other federal assistance then the Mission is more than happy to assist. Clients may also be referred from the Department of Social Services and others may be accepted under special circumstances.
They serve over 100 families a month in food and clothing.

Food Resources
Most of the food that comes through the Mission is donated by individuals, churches, and Smith Valley Meat. During the holidays they are able to purchase reduced priced hams and turkeys from Food Lion. The only food that is purchased on regular bases, at full price, is hamburger. They are not a Second Harvest Agency so the amount of salvaged food they receive is small. They would consider becoming an agency if there was something in place that did not force them to drive to Salem to pick up food.
Clients are allowed to receive food once every 3 months. The boxes prepared by the Mission usually contain items to make several complete meals.

They have a strong volunteer base. There is one paid staff, Nancy Haynie Giles Christian Mission Director, and the rest of the program is volunteer run. Their operating hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-2:00pm and on average there are about 15 volunteers every day. Most of the volunteers are pulled from local churches, others hear about the opportunity by word of mouth. In order to be a volunteer one must be over 16, and call Nancy Haynie to schedule an appointment. There is a short orientation the first time a volunteer comes.

The Christmas Tour brings in money for the mission.
The Lions Club gives in other capacities.
Local churches and individuals donate.
They receive a grant from the United Fund of Giles County.

Existing Partnerships
Lions Club
Virginia Tech
Giles New River Community Action
Giles Department of Social Services

Fresh Produce—In small quantities
More Volunteers
Baby Clothes
Would like to see
Classes for Clients: money management, food management, food preparation. Like to see clients become more self sufficient.
Want to see a database to help cut down on abuse and double dipping.

They were able to use a surplus from the budget last year to assist their clients with some electrical bills.
Meeting with Dale Mull—Shawsville Food Pantry
May 11, 2010
(540)268-2756 (h) (540)580-2756(c) (540)268-1002

I was able to get most of the survey information from Dale in person.

The Shawsville Lay Ministerial Association opened a pantry in the fall of 1999. They are a collective effort of the surrounding area churches. They currently have about a dozen churches that support the program both with volunteers and monetarily. Dale Mull is the Director of the program and the only staff (it is not a paid position).

They are a USDA pantry and distribute to their clients on the fourth Thursday of every month from 6-8pm.

Food Resources
They are a Second Harvest Organization that distributes USDA food. All of their food comes from Second Harvest in some form. Every Wednesday they physically go to the warehouse and shop for food, but the rest of their food is a direct pick-up from places such as Kroger, Pepperidge Farm warehouse, and U.S. Postal Food Drive.

The Shawsville Food Pantry has a pool of about 100 volunteers. Dale Mull schedules around 35 volunteers for each distribution, which happens once a month. This is a two day effort; about 10 volunteers come and sort the night before and about 25 volunteers help with paper work and packing food during the night of distribution. Other than the 4th Thursday of the month, there is one volunteer used on Wednesdays to pick up from Second Harvest. If a volunteer is interested in becoming part of the rotation they need to contact Dale Mull.

The pantry is operated on a modest $14,000 yearly budget. About 80% of that budget is allotted directly for the food pantry and the other 20% goes to financial assistance. They receive a grant from the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter program through the United Way, there are various fundraisers held, but most of their funding comes from local church donations.

-Someone who can become an assistant director to eventually take on the role of director.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meeting with Salvation Army

Meeting with Shawn Elliott—Salvation Army
May 11, 2010
(540) 394-1037

The Salvation Army has two hunger relief programs a Soup Kitchen and a Food Pantry. The Soup Kitchen is open Monday and Friday from 12-1:30 and is open to anyone. The hours of operation for the Food Pantry distribution are Tuesday-Thursday 10-3, but they can only distribute to their clients once every 2-3 months. They give their clients 1 paper grocery bag full of non perishable groceries and any frozen meat they may have on hand.

Shawn told me that they have pretty much all of their needs met except for food. This is why they distribute the amount they do and how often they do. They have enough storage, but they do not have enough donations or money. In freezer space they have 1 freezer chest, 5 upright freezers and 2 fridge/freezer combos.

Thoughts on Second Harvest Mass Distribution
They like the idea but they need to clear it with the Captain and they were not completely sure about the logistics that Second Harvest laid out. They thought that they could make it work, but it would be easier for them to distribute at their own location. They have everything they need to do it, a truck, volunteers and storage space. They even said they might be able to hold one other pantries freezer goods for a day or two. They were not sure they could do much more than that.

Meeting with Radford/Fairlawn Daily Bread

Meeting with Jerry Higgins—Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread
May 10, 2010
11:00 AM
(540) 230-1538 –Best way to contact

Jerry and I had a very productive meeting. Daily Bread has 3 different programs: Meals on Wheels, Soup Kitchen, and USDA Pantry (every 3rd Friday).
Details on each varied a great deal, so he opted to fill out an online survey on each individual program.

The idea of the mass distribution seemed to be something that he was hesitant about at first. After explaining that there might be a possibility to change some of the details he was a little more interested. It would work better for his organization and his clientele if he could distribute from his site instead of a central location. In order to make this work he would need a way to get the food transported to him and younger volunteers to do some of the lifting and sorting. I was thinking this would be a good opportunity for Gethsemane Baptist to help out with transportation, and maybe some summer students to help volunteer. He also does not have freezer space for storage so that is another obstacle to try and resolve.

Tuesday-Thursday toward the beginning of the month are the days that work best for his agency.

Meeting with Gethsemane Baptist Ch. Food Pantry

Meeting with Frank Rogers—Gethsemane Baptist Church Food Pantry
May 10, 2010

The Gethsemane Baptist Church seems to be very concerned about building community and relationships. Right now they serve about 100 families a month equaling about 300 individuals. They do home deliveries to 78 of their clients. They are located in Radford but have started to widen their service area to Dublin and Pulaski. Because they are a USDA pantry they only distribute on the 3rd Saturday of every month, but will give to anyone who comes to the door. They deliver intermittently throughout the month.

• It was not clear how often they use volunteers. Though he says there are enough he would like some that are more regular.
• He would like to see more classes offered to his clients.
• The pantry has just purchased a laptop and has a pretty good system for keeping his clientele but would like to have help tying it into the churches system and a few other IT support issues. He is ready for this at any point.
Resources to give
• They are able to offer a significant amount of transportation. They have several vans and a bus.
• They have a 12ft. and a 16ft. trailer that they could use to help transport food.

Feelings on Second Harvest “Mobile Pantry”
He likes the idea of mass distribution and would like to see it happen. The idea of self distribution as opposed to all the pantries distributing at one place worked better for him. He said he would be willing to help shuttle some of the food for pantries who could not get the food from the drop point. He was flexible on times, dates and location. He also had enough volunteers to make it happen. The only problem he saw was if Second Harvest wants to give out a significant amount of freezer goods then this would not work so well for him. However, he liked the idea of having a place where he could pick up the freezer goods.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meeting with Spiritual Roots

Meeting with Tulio O’Reilly—Spiritual Roots Food Pantry
May 5, 2010

Tullio feels that the 2nd Harvest Model of a “Mobile Pantry” seems to resemble more of a Mass Distribution. He also feels that it would work better if different agencies could distribute from their own sites instead of from one central point. Right now the model works much differently. The pantries would order a truck worth of food, bring volunteers to sort it at the site of the truck, and then distribute to their volunteers. Tullio and I discussed that it might work better if the pantries had the ability to transport the commodities to their individual distribution sites. This solution depends on if Second Harvest needs to increase their number of people served or the amount of pounds they are distributing. Another problem is that most of the pantries do not have the space to store frozen food.

One solution to the storage dilemma might be to use some of the pantries with larger freezer facilities as temporary storage. Tullio suggested talking with Shawsville Lay Minister Association and Community Action who both have walk in freezers. One other solution offered by Tullio addressing distribution would be if all the pantries that participated worked together as opposed to working as individual agencies. For example Community Action could use their system of intakes to determine what type of commodities each client would receive and then direct then to the correct area; for instance there might be 2 or more designated lines—one for USDA, one for non USDA food. Then the other agencies would work out the details concerning sorting and distribution.

Both of these solutions might be difficult to facilitate, but would definitely get organizations thinking about working together in partnerships. However, this only addresses Second Harvest agencies, not all the rest.

Next I will be meeting with different Second Harvest agencies to see if this is an opportunity that they would like to take advantage of. I will also find out what they think might be a viable solution to the proposed opportunity and if there is any way I can help facilitate that solution.

Meeting with Pulaski Daily Bread

Meeting with Debbie Harrell—Pulaski Daily Bread
April 30, 2010

Notes about Pulaski Daily Bread:
-They are not affiliated with Radford/Fairlawn Daily Bread. They were first. Not sure how they name became affiliated?
-Last year they served 40,000 meals.

Feelings on Mobile Pantry:
She thinks it’s a doable program and would be interested in it. However, because of the age of her volunteers she would need some younger volunteers to do some lifting. That might be something Jake can help with. It would also depend on what Second Harvest is offering. Because of her service: Hot Food/Soup Kitchen it would need to be something she can use. However, money is not the issue; volunteers are the issue.

Meeting with Second Harvest

Meeting with Second Harvest:
April 29, 2010

I met with Becki Wildenberger and Dave Bethel . We discussed many things, but the most pressing issue for them is the “Mobile Pantry” that they are trying to launch.
They have a 20foot truck that can hold 20,000 lbs of food and they want to give the more remote areas of the NRV more access to their service. They want pantries that are close to each other to partner together so that the cost is defrayed somewhat and that more product is being moved at one time. (which would be more cost effective).
Until July 1 they are willing to cut the cost of this project. They are even willing to do it for free. However, after July 1 a truck could cost as much as $500. The sustainability of this project has not been thought out completely. They want me as a VISTA to get people on board.
In the future they are thinking that this can become a bigger event. These drops could not only focus on food distribution but also on education. There would be classes offered by 2nd harvest, VCE, and other agencies.

What they need for this project to succeed is:
-Sponsors to pay/host
-Volunteers to run the event—most likely from agencies
-Agencies to join the effort.
-Funding—possibly grants to help defray the cost of some of this.

For Sustainability:
-Grants from other programs
-Regular drop points
-Mentors to pull together other volunteers.