Auburn Community takes action and participates in food drive
September is National Hunger Action Month and the Auburn community is stepping up. Most recently local churches banded together during a successful Sunday food drive and another nonprofit is continuing the push for donations this month.
The food drive was hosted by the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, in partnership with the Pioneer United Methodists Church, the Bayside Auburn Church and the Auburn Presbyterian Church.
This year the drive held Sept. 16 brought in 5,513 food items, a large increase from previous drives. The volunteers distributed 2,500 bags the previous Sunday and 556 homes participated, according to Sandy Bassett, president of the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet.
Bags were passed out with a flyer explaining the types of food items that are most needed. Participants were required to leave the bag on their front porch and volunteers came to pick them up on the following Sunday.
According to Bassett, this was the most successful drive yet.
At the food closet in Auburn, she said, volunteers serve about 3,000 people a month, or around 963 families. Volunteers have seen a decrease in community need by 5 percent from last year, but they are still getting new families.
“We get an average of 84 new families a month,” Bassett said. This is a decrease from last year’s average of 100 new families a month, she added.
“Our goal is to give nutritious, healthy food,” Bassett said.
The food closet has a nutritionist that determines the correct amount of food and the type of food items that families should take home with them.
Alan Ford, a volunteer at the food closet, said homeless people can come in and get food items that can be consumed without cooking facilities, like canned foods that can be popped open. Those who are homeless can come in once a week for three weeks and get one day’s worth of food.
When a family comes in they get enough food for three meals a day, for three days. Each family can come in and get food once a month.
Gayla Hine, a volunteer at Sunday’s food drive, has participated in the past three drives. She said a large part of the success of the food drive was due to the large amount of volunteers from the three churches.
She said this year more churches were involved, so they had more volunteers and were able to canvas a larger area and distribute more bags.
“It was fun, and as far as the cooperation it was a big success,” Hine said.
Sandi Rogers a volunteer from Bayside Auburn Church agrees with the event’s success. “It ran really smoothly,” she said. She added she felt the whole process went really great, from distributing the bags, to picking them up again the following week.
According to Deanna Root, team leader and volunteer at the Food Closet, the influx of food is especially helpful right now.
“We are not as financially secure as we would like to be, so we have had to tighten our belts,” she said.
The Auburn Interfaith Food Closet is always accepting donations. It’s not too late Bassett said, people can still donate.
How to Donate
Who: Auburn Interfaith Food Closet
When: Monday-Friday and the last Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Where: 2985 Richardson Drive, Auburn
Call: (530) 885-1921