Food Bank hungry for volunteers

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By Debra Lyon-Dye

In 2002 a Mission Committee of the Cedar Key United Methodist Church invited representatives from other churches as well as community members to identify a need for assistance. Everyone agreed that the need was local and the Food Pantry was born.

Housed in the new Faith Center Building of the Cedar Key UMC on 2nd St., the Food Pantry is supported by a cross section of the community: part time and full time residents, area churches, local businesses, civic organizations, Cedar Key School, public agencies, and the proceeds of festival bake sales.

Food Pantry volunteers drive to Gainesville every Wednesday to pick up pre-ordered food from the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank. The food is then unloaded in Cedar Key and on Thursdays stockers distribute food to shelves where shoppers choose what they want and can use.

According to Peggy Dalaino, one of the founding committee members, the pantry serves 28-30 households a week, which is about 72 people from the Cedar Key/Rosewood area. This month ten new households were added.

Food Pantry shoppers from Cedar Key/Rosewood apply on site, filling out paperwork to show Food Stamp, SSI, or Medicare eligibility, residence in Government Housing, or Low Income according to Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to drive to Gainesville, collect boxes, open the pantry to customers and perform other various tasks. Call Volunteer Coordinator Marty Healy at 543-6727 or Bill and Peggy Delaino at 543-6001 if you can donate a few hours one day a month.

Fresh produce, toiletries, and canned goods are always welcome and can be brought to the pantry Thursdays or arrangements made with Pastor Clark Reichert at 543-0011.

Roaster pans, boxed dressing, canned turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, box macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti/ravioli, tuna, and box potatoes are especially needed during the holidays. Not needed are cans of green beans, peas, can tomato products, tomato or mushroom soup (all other soups are needed).

Cash donations are always welcome and allow the organization to purchase food at a reduced rate of eighteen cents a pound.

Checks can be sent to The Cedar Key Food Panty, P. O. Box 158, Cedar Key, FL 32625.

The entrance to the Food Pantry is in the back of the new Faith Center building. It is open every Thursday from 3-4:30 p.m. except Thanksgiving week when it will be open Tuesday and Christmas week when it will be open Wednesday. You will find the Cedar Key community there.