Food pantry helps with basic necessities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
The Vandenberg community prides itself on helping out fellow servicemembers and their families. One of the ways the community contributes is through volunteering and donating food items to Vandenberg's Food Pantry.

The food pantry is a place where active duty military personnel and their families can go during a financial crunch to get grocery necessities at no cost.

The food pantry is located within, and works in collaboration with, the Airman and Family Readiness Center here. Their combined efforts over the years have helped put food on many Vandenberg shelves. During 2008, the food pantry serviced 1,380 people, distributing approximately $36,000 in food, while hosting 17 food drives.

Among the services provided, the food pantry offers an emergency assist. The emergency assist is for active duty members and their families who need food assistance for a period up to five days.

In the case that an individual or a family would find themselves in the position to have to use the emergency assist more than once, there are community readiness consultants at the Airman and Family Readiness Center that can help straighten-out any financial issues.

"In this case, we will offer help by educating the individuals on financial basics and identify problem solving options for solutions," said Sue Voshell, a community readiness consultant at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. "This will include setting goals for cutting back on costs, reducing debts, savings strategies and information on investing."

Although these organizations are here to help, they also welcome help from the community to keep the food pantry fully stocked and operational.

There are several opportunities for the community to volunteer their time at the food pantry. The food pantry is looking for volunteers to help with food drives, to stock the shelves and assist in the needs of the consumers.

"The food pantry is important because there are families in our community that could really use it," said Lori Pitman, a volunteer food pantry coordinator here. "Sometimes unexpected costs will arise and people can use the food pantry for supplemental reasons until they are financially stable again."

Anyone who is interested in supporting their local community can volunteer at the food pantry. For more information contact Lori Pitman at 734-3522.