CEDAR KEY FOOD PANTRY
…WHAT A STORY
October 25, 2015
There is so much to learn about our Cedar Key Food Pantry that it is hard to know where to start. Cedar Key News staff spent time this past week interviewing the Pantry staff and viewing the operation; they learned a great deal.
After much thought, Cedar Key News staff thought a series of four shorter articles would be the best approach to updating/informing readers about the Pantry. Each of the four is worth reading, even if you believe you know the Pantry well. Things change; needs change. So the Pantry changes, adapting to needs of this community.
The four articles are:
- WHO MAKES THE PANTRY WORK?
- WHO ARE THE FOOD PANTRY CLIENTS?
- WHAT HAPPENS EVERY THURSDAY AT THE PANTRY? and HOW DOES THE FOOD GET TO THE PANTRY?
- HOW CAN YOU HELP? and CONCERNS OF BEACH AND TREAT
Cedar Key News will publish one a day, attempting not to overwhelm readers.
WHO MAKES THE PANTRY WORK?
First is Donna Beach, now a Gainesville resident, who orchestrates the operation from top to bottom. She makes the long- and short- range plans that make it possible for each of the fifty families coming to the Pantry have food, a variety of it, fresh milk, produce when available, and as healthy as possible additional choices. Beach is also United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), replete with its regulations and paperwork, contact person.
Second is Cedar Key resident Jeri Treat who is Beach’s colleague and the Food Pantry treasurer. Treat also manages the entire operation on the rare occasion that Beach is away. She also stocks shelves, helps applicants complete paperwork, acts as liaison to local contacts, and prepares boxes of food for those unable to do so for themselves.
With rare exception, you will find both Beach and Treat greeting visitors and distributing stores every Thursday at the Food Pantry.
The Cedar Key United Methodist Church
The church houses the Pantry offering a large amount of physical space to house, sort, stack, and distribute food. The church also most graciously pays the utility bills and offers its parking space to the effort.
Bill and Peggy Delaino
The Food Pantry was begun by Cedar Key’s Bill and Peggy Delaino approximately twelve years ago, in 2003. Beach remarked, “They did it all, whatever it took.” Record keeping, communication with the USDA, food choice, ordering, delivering, and distribution were their tasks. What vision.
Cedar Key School Students and Teacher
Recently retired Future Farmers of America (FFA) instructor Denny Voyles estimated that his students have planted, grown, picked, and delivered over 8,000 pounds of produce to the Pantry during his tenure.
Cedar Key Lions Club
Each week a Cedar Key Lions Club member sees to it that the Pantry has lots of fresh milk. The club orders, purchases, and delivers the milk every week, fifty two weeks each year.
Cedar Key Community Groups
The Cedar Key community as a whole, Donna Beach made it a point to say, is most generous. “I can’t think of one organization that does not contribute in some way to our efforts,” she explained. All of the churches offer donations and solicit from their flocks; civic organizations help with donations as well.
WHO ARE THE FOOD PANTRY CLIENTS?
will be the subject of tomorrow’s article.