The annual Fall Food Drive takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, and about 15 local youth groups will collect donations around Powell. Kids who attend the Boys and Girls Club will collect food in neighborhoods near the club from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Following busy summer months when the food pantry sees higher numbers, the fall drive helps replenish the shelves for winter.
“We need food,” said Cindy Balderas, treasurer for the organization. “We’re just hoping for a successful drive, and we are very appreciative of the support we get from the community.”
Last year, Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes provided food for 3,324 people, making up 970 families. (Recipients are counted each time they get food, so that number does not represent the number of individuals.)
Through Sept. 30, the pantry had provided food for 2,478 people, making up 723 families.
The pantry collects a variety of nonperishable items, and at this time, could use more rice, saltine crackers, pinto beans, peanut butter, cereal, 100 percent fruit juice and canned meat, such as chicken and ham.
If you live out of town, you can bring donations to Food Basket IGA or Blair’s Market.
Residents in town who will not be home are asked to leave donations on their front porch, and leave the light on so volunteers can see them.
Hunters also are asked to donate meat, but it must be professionally processed, Balderas said.
Due to a lack of monetary donations, the food pantry suspended its coupon program earlier this month. The coupon allowed residents to get milk, eggs, bread, meat, potatoes and oranges or apples from the local grocery stores. If the organization receives more donations, they will look at bringing the coupons back, Balderas said.
She added that coupons already distributed still can be redeemed, but new ones will not be issued at this time.
Balderas said the organization needs more volunteers to help distribute food at the Park County Annex in Powell, where the pantry is located. Volunteers serve on a rotation, and also help stock shelves and fill sacks. To volunteer, contact Julie Fulton at 754-4231.
In coming months, community fundraisers also will help benefit the pantry. Northwest College art students will host the Empty Bowls event on Nov. 19 at The Commons in downtown Powell, where you can get a handmade bowl filled with soup, and you get to keep the bowl. All proceeds go to Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes.
Balderas said the food pantry also will benefit from the Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving.
To send a monetary donation to Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes, mail it to P.O. Box 992, Powell WY 82435.