Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making the Best of Things - Giving and Receiving Help

If you're struggling, sometimes it's difficult to know where to go to get help.  If you're like Pamela over at Hey, It's Me Again....Pamela, you know you want to help, but you're not sure how to get started.  Below are some resources to get you started.

Many food pantries receive funding or assistance through Feeding America.  These food pantries often are able to offer a wider variety of foods.  To find a food pantry near you, use some of these resources.

Feeding America Food Bank Food Pantry Locator 
I find the locator a little bit frustrating. When you enter your state or zip, you'll have to eventually click on a Google map to find pinned locations. But it's pretty accurate.

Easy to use, but not very comprehensive.

Ample Harvest
It appears this site is primarily to help farmers find food pantries to donate their excess harvest to.

How to Find a Local Food Pantry
This article contains some good advise on looking for food pantries in your area. A word of caution about calling local churches, though. Many do not have food or funds available. This is a misnomer that many people believe. Twenty years ago, churches were much more equipped to provide food or other assistance to people in need, but the economy has hit them hard as well. That being said, it is worth calling churches to see if they can help you find resources. I keep a list of local organizations and food pantries at my desk because we get called frequently.

Another good place to call to help get started on finding resources.  Most 211 programs are run by The United Way.

Making the Best of Things - Food Pantry Distribution
Use this list to help you learn what are the most useful things to donate to a food bank or pantry.

Find the entire Making the Best of Things series here.

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