By Andrea German
Melody Kohn, 23, is an art history major finishing her last semester at HSU. She used the Arcata Pantry last semester while living in Arcata. She mentioned how much easier the semester seemed to go by without having to worry about food.
“I don’t know how much more stressed I would have been if it wasn’t for the Pantry last semester, ” Kohn said. “It’s a an awesome community asset.”
Food for People is the organization designated as the official food bank for Humboldt County. It currently runs 14 community food programs, including the Pantry in Arcata. It operates as far north as Orick and as far south as Garberville. The organization distributes food to communities across the county using a variety of programs.
The Arcata Pantry is a Choice Pantry, which distributes food to its community members in need based on a nutritional point system. Members of the Pantry shop through the pantry according to this point system to ensure a balanced fulfillment of each nutritional food group.
One of Arcata’s pantry volunteers is Joanna Herrera, a-24-year old sociology major at Humboldt State. Herrera explained that the pantry offered enough variety to fulfill the nutritional point system.
“There’s fresh produce, grains, dairy, bread and canned foods, ” Herrera said. Food for People receives its donations from a variety of local vendors including Safeway, the North Coast Co-op, the USDA and even local farms.
Other programs running throughout the county’s community pantries are senior, children and homebound programs. This explains the diversity of community members that use the pantries across the county.
“I didn’t realize how many people needed food until I worked there,” Herrera said. “It’s mostly senior citizens, young families, the homeless and now there’s more students.”
The Arcata Pantry opens its doors at Campbell Creek Connection on 13th Street on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. until noon. It offers all of the aforementioned programs, including a Calfresh outreach opportunity for community members.
Food for People has a warehouse office in Eureka on West 14th Street with refrigerators and freezers full of food as well as fruits and vegetables. Food for People’s mission statement delineates its vision in eliminating hunger in communities through access to healthy and nutritious foods.
Anyone in need for food can call to make an appointment and arrive to receive an emergency food box. More information on its programs and pantry locations can be found on their website at foodforpeople.org.