(Valley Community Pantry)
On Friday, February 21, Valley Community Pantry (VCP) celebrated its 55th year in serving its community. The event brought together local businesses, churches, and community members in recognition of the non-profit’s invaluable service to those in need.
The theme was emerald green at VCP – the color symbolizing 55 years – and over 80 community members were present for Friday’s event which offered barbequed burgers, hot dogs, drinks and raffles prizes which appropriately included a 55-inch flat screen television.
Following the singing of the National Anthem by the talented 14-year-old, Sage Jessee, businesses and community leaders were recognized and thanked for making the Pantry’s mission a reality; Ferguson Flooring, Trinity Lutheran Church and Linda Greilich from Golden Era were one of many for whom VCP is grateful – for without donations and services these businesses provide, VCP would be unable to continue serving those who need assistance.
“Everybody deserves to eat regardless of their background or situation,” says Jim Lineberger, VCP’s Executive Director and CEO who believes strongly in the principles of helping the less fortunate. He and over 65 volunteers work tirelessly to provide the community with groceries and services such as utility and rental assistance – also, new or used refrigerators.
“If you’re in the senior community, you need to go check on your neighbors . . . they’re often too proud to ask for help. To have a senior go hungry is heartbreaking and it simply should not happen . . . if you know somebody in need, bring them down here,” Lineberger adds, explaining that over 25% of their clientele are senior citizens who often find themselves in a financial bind after their spouse passes away. Veterans, single mothers and homeless make up the remaining percentage of clients.
Some stats since 2011.
- Serves 46 registered homeless veterans
- Serves 413 registered inactive veterans
- Serves 190 registered disabled veterans
- Serves 2,419 registered disabled senior families
- Serves 2,700 who live on social security income only
- Serves 2,880 seniors 60 years and older
- Serve 3,188 single mom families
- Registers, on average, 65 new families per month
- 82% of clients are extreme low income ($0.00 to $14,150)
- 1% of clients are moderate income ($37,751 and higher)
When asked about his hopes for the Panty’s future, VCP President, Leonard Gleason says, “I hope to continue building awareness in the community, the business community, and gain their support. Without our volunteers, churches and business’s support, I’m not sure we’d get a whole lot done.”
To learn more about the Valley Community Pantry visit www.ValleyCommunityPantry.org
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