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Spring Valley loads up the bed of his truck with food from his second trip to the Project Success Food Pantry in Spring Valley thanks to a new program, “Second Helpings” which allows families with school age children to make to stops to the pantry a month instead of just one. Money and food collected for the new program has been through fundraising efforts and community donations. “We’re lucky to live in a giving community,” said Jan Martin, director of the food pantry. NewsTribune photo/Lauren Blough
The Project Success Food Pantry in Spring Valley has a new program to make sure children of struggling parents and guardians can’t go hungry.
The rest of this month and in August, Project Success will offer “Second Helpings” — a program that allows families with school age children (ages 17 and under) a second trip to the pantry to collect food. The program will end Aug. 15.
“I was noticing that food wasn’t lasting all month for some families,” said Project Success coordinator Jan Martin.
Typically, families are allotted only one stop to the pantry a month. But a second visit will be allowed for food only. Families will leave with an estimated 70 pounds of food with each visit.
The food pantry is not receiving grant funding for the program.
Martin said efforts to raise money have been done through fundraisers and donations from the public.
“I’m thinking it will cost about $8,000 for the program,” Martin said.
An upcoming fundraiser at Rip’s Restaurant in Ladd also will benefit the new program.
Martin and the volunteers at the pantry are appreciative of donations from the community and hope to see them continue — especially during the next few weeks.
“We’re lucky we live in a giving community,” said Martin.
The pantry served approximately 1,180 families last month, and about 75 percent of those families have children. More than half of those families will benefit from “Second Helpings,” Martin said.
“They really count on it, I think,” said Kathy Martinaiti, a volunteer at the food pantry. “It definitely makes things a little easier for them.”
The pantry will serve families for the “Second Helping” program 10 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday, and 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays.