WINNSBORO — For volunteers at the Fairfield Community Food Bank, summer is a particularly important time for food donations. Children are home from school, some of whom have food needs and who will be responsible for preparing their own meals.
Volunteer Diane Williams remembers vividly years ago when she worked with a state agency assisting families and she observed a young child trying to open a can with a butcher knife.
The community food bank, therefore, looks for foods that are nonperishable that can provide children with nutrition without requiring them to cook meals and possibly injure themselves in the process.
Peanut butter and jelly are big staples, but the food bank runs into a problem because it does not have the capacity to store loaf bread for the children.
Instead, Williams suggests people donate packages of flour tortillas so children could make peanut butter and jelly wraps. Saltine crackers, graham crackers or Ritz crackers are also good for meals. Pudding cups, fruit cups, dried fruit, powdered milk, unfrosted whole grain pop-tarts, small juice boxes, granola bars, prepackaged cheese and crackers and Slim Jims are a few other items the food bank needs for children.
Food can be dropped off the Fairfield Community Food Bank at 96 U.S. 321 Bypass on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon.
Williams is thankful to Richard Winn Academy for donating several hundred jars of peanut butter and jelly.
Richard Winn student Ethan McManus, Williams’ grandson, helped stock shelves and check expiration dates on the food, including items the food bank received from a recent food drive held by the U.S. Postal Service. The 12-year-old said he had been helping some there for about five summers now.
“It means a lot to me to be able to come out and help people,” McManus said. He plays JV baseball, football and basketball so this volunteer work is a good change of pace for the Junior Beta Club student.
His grandmother, Diane, said the food bank is not able to have more youth volunteers due to space restrictions and liability issues but if young people want to help, youth groups at churches, Vacation Bible Schools, scouts and others could hold food drives.
She said volunteers could set up special delivery times if they know in advance when food will arrive. To contact the Fairfield Community Food Bank, call 635-9234 or call Julia Hungerpiller at 635-4386. Donations are given to the food bank by churches, community members, civic groups and other organizations.
According to its policy, recipients must go a full 90 days between visits to the Fairfield County Community Food Bank. The food bank is entirely volunteer staffed and volunteer led.
Williams said it is hard to turn people away due to a lack of food on the shelves at the bank, but that sometimes they have to do so during tough economic times. There are other resources available that Williams and other volunteers tell the public about, such as the Benefit Bank and services provided by Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia.
St. Luke’s Baptist Church in Greenbrier makes food available every two months to people in need and the Fairfield Community Food Bank has information on St. Luke’s outreach as well.
“I am blessed to do God’s work, both health-wise and otherwise,” Williams said. “We appreciate all the county and community do to support this food bank. I just don’t know what we would do without this place.”
Contact Kevin Boozer at 635-4016 ext. 14 or email@example.com.