The Leominster Spanish American Center Community Food Pantry, one of our major initiatives, was developed to increase access to supplemental food for our clients who have often faced food insecurity due to a variety of social and economic reasons.
This past summer (2014), for example, there was a major disruption in the food supply chain in the Leominster & Fitchburg area due to the prolonged Market Basket walk out. As many low and middle income families rely on the lower cost grocery items offered by this grocery chain, alternatives were often priced higher, causing food budgets everywhere to become stressed! As a result, our Community Food Pantry was stretched to the limit while trying to meet the needs of families who could not afford these unanticipated price hikes.
Here is a Fact Sheet developed as a part of The Board Of Directors’ Food Basket Challenge, to provide an outline of the clients helped and services provided by the Leominster Spanish American Center’s Community Food Pantry:
Fact Sheet – Leominster Spanish American Center ~Community Food Pantry~El Almacén de Comida
Location: Basement of SAC Offices, 112 Spruce St., Leominster, MA
Hours of operation for client visit: Monday – Friday from 9 am – 2 pm.
Name and Phone # of Staff Contact for Pantry: Christina Gonzalez 978-534-3145
# of families/neighbors in need served last year: approx. 900+
# of families/ neighbors in need served last week: 25 -Families are limited to one use per month, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis , e.g..– Domestic Violence clients and hotel shelter clients are able to use more often.
How many trips monthly to Worcester County Food Bank: 1 per month due to cost of gas and staff availability.
Cost of food procured from food bank: only some items are available for purchase-approximately $300.00 per month (items most often in very short supply).
Cost of transportation of food from WCFB per trip: $50.00 round trip
Most needed/requested items from families/neighbors in need: Baby food, disposable diapers, toothpaste, toothbrushes, fruit juice,canned goods – spaghetti, macaroni and cheese mix, children’s snack items, rice, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, seasonings, soy sauce, tuna in packets/cans, tomato paste and sauces, condiments, dried fruits, nuts, mayonnaise, gift certificates to food stores, powdered milk, packaged cookies, crackers, animal crackers, graham crackers, breakfast cereals, oatmeal, instant oatmeal, pet food, shampoo, soap, hand cream, hand sanitizers, disposable baby wipes.
The United Way of North Central Mass provides funding which covers ten hours per week of staffing for the Spanish American Center’s Community Food Pantry. The remaining four hours we are open are covered by volunteers and staff hours, which are funded through the City of Leominster CDBG. The Worcester County Food Bank supplements the nonperishable supplies with monthly delivery of produce, when available. St. Leo’s Parish St. Vincent DePaul Society provides bread donations to the SAC Community Food Pantry. We thank them all for their continued support.
The Leominster Spanish American Center is a registered 503c non-profit organization that assists people of all ethnic backgrounds. All donations are fully tax deductible as permitted by law.
In November, 2016 the SAC Emergency food pantry received two grants – Project Bread and The Worcester County FOOD Bank in the amount of $1,000.00 each to help with food supplies!
$50,480 to End Hunger in
Excerpt from GWCF WEB PAGE:
“Foundation today announced the awarding of $50,480 to 19 organizations as part of the Worcester County Food Bank Fund to End Hunger. Those who received funding will create innovative and sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger through advocacy and programs that incorporate practices that have shown promise throughout the country or in Worcester County.
“Many of the best approaches to addressing hunger arise from local communities and organizations working together,” said Jean McMurray, executive director of the Worcester County Food Bank. “We’re excited that the Fund is a meaningful resource to the efforts of many community partners.
“The non-profit organizations and their programs receiving grants to end hunger are:
. . .Spanish American Center, $2,500.00 Food Pantry Operations. . . “
The Spanish- American Center extends its gratitude to
The Greater Worcester Community Foundation for including us in this funding grant!