Valley Non Profits Have New Plan For Success

January 5, 2009 10:03:00 PM PST
Two Valley non-profit organizations are resorting to new measures to continue helping the community they serve. It's being done to save to save the Poverello House and to the Food Bank. Food Bank C.E.O. Dana Wilkie said she can turn one donated dollar into $8 worth of food."Our goal is to try to keep up with the demand and that's the struggle ... the food donations just aren't keeping up," said Wilkie.

The Food Bank has consistently distributed one million pounds of food a month in Fresno County since March of 2008. But when the Food Bank opened this Monday from holiday break it was nearly empty. Last time at this year every space in their warehouse was filled with pallets of food and their freezer was completely filled with meats, vegetables and dairy products. Now the freezer is empty.

In order to restock those empty shelves Wilkie said her first order of business would be to increase supplies and at cheaper prices. Wilkie said the solution is reaching out to Valley farmers for excess produce and teaming up with other Valley food banks.

"We are buying truck loads of food at a time to try and get it as inexpensive as possible," said Wilkie.

Much of the food distributed from here ends up on tables like the Poverello House.

Homeless resident Willie Jay Heager said "Anybody that don't know about this place I bring 'em here. I bring 'em here."

The Poverello House relies on donations to provide three square meals a day to the homeless, but because the economy is so poor a new measure may be implemented.

"We may have to for the first time ever have to send a letter out this spring and ask people to really give," said Weakland.

Development Director Kathryn Weakland says for now the Poverello house will continue to spend with caution.

"Not buying unless we need it. really taking what the community gave us during the holidays and inventorying it. And really being creative in the kitchen," said Weakland.

Meanwhile both the Poverello House and the Food Bank hope this new recipe for success will continue to meet the needs of the community.

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