La Puente Volunteer
The Food Bank Network would like to recognize Wall, Smith, Bateman & Associates for raising $1,000 to support three of the San Luis Valley’s food banks—Monte Vista, Center and Del Norte, this year.
In the past, Wall, Smith, Bateman & Associates have used this money to host a Christmas party for clients and staff. However, for the last two years they have chosen to use the money to support local food banks and charities instead. Bob Gjellum of Wall, Smith, Bateman & Associates commented, “We appreciate what the food banks do for the Valley, it’s a big need.” The need is definitely there, one in four individuals in the San Luis Valley utilizes the food bank each year. In 2011, the Center food bank served 626 households, which included 494 males, 336 females and 491 children. The Del Norte food bank served 509 households, including 503 males, 468 females, and 355 children.
Monte Vista food bank’s president of the board Shon R. Davis remarked, “Just a couple of years ago we were at all-time high numbers, providing just over 4,000 food packages and this year we were over 6,000 food packages. You can see the increase. That is why the donation of Wall, Smith, Bateman and Associates and all other donations are so important – the number of people in need is rising.”
The $1000 donation was split between the food banks and used in many ways. At the Monte Vista food bank, Shon R. Davis explained, “The Monte Vista Emergency Food Bank is very lucky in that we have had a volunteer director since the door opened and all of our staff are volunteers. Therefore, no money from donors goes into salary. We have some operating expenses (utilities, phone and, on occasion, a repair or two), but the overwhelming majority of donations goes toward purchasing food for those in need.”
Mary Lamb, a volunteer at the Del Norte Food Bank, said the money there would be used to purchase food as well—they are especially in need of money to buy peanut butter, as the cost has recently risen. Peanut butter is an essential item that is given in every box—it is full of protein and makes a great substitute for meat; most of the food banks do not often receive peanut butter donations so having money available to purchase peanut butter is very important.
Lauren Dean, a volunteer at the Center food bank said the money was used to buy two cases of hamburger and tuna. The Center food bank aims to have some type of meat in every box they give out. Laura stated, “We are really lucky that since November we have been able to give out meat, besides just tuna, because of all the donations we have been getting.”
The Food Bank Network endeavors to meet immediate needs and empowers people to live independently with dignity by providing healthy food packages to families and individuals throughout the San Luis Valley. To learn more about the Food Bank Network go to www.lapuente.net/foodbank or call 589-4567.
By ortiveztm on February 16, 2012