Kevin L. Hoover
ARCATA – In a roundabout way, Arcata’s food relief efforts have come full circle.
According to a press release from Eureka’s Food For People, food pantry services for low income Arcata residents will be provided at a new location beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10 due to the suspension of services at the North Coast Resource Center (NCRC).
Food box distributions will be coordinated by Food for People and will take place weekly at the Arcata Presbyterian Church, 670 11th Street on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.
That’s the same location from which the old Arcata Food Endeavor operated before moving to the Arcata Service Center in 1999. The premise at the time was that hunger would be best addressed with a full spectrum of services, allowing individuals to improve their overall circumstances and lift themselves out of poverty.
Because of its broadened mission, the Food Endeavor was then renamed the Endeavor, then the NCRC.
While there have been success stories, the need for simple food relief has never gone away. Up until its suspension of services this week, the NCRC has continued to provide meals and food boxes to the hungry. Now, Food For People will take over that function as best it can from the NCRC.
“There are so many people in need,” said Anne Holcomb, executive director of Food For People. She called the arrangement a “short-term solution.”
Along with on-site food giveaways, Holcomb said Food For People would like to continue the home delivery of food boxes that the NCRC has been doing. But, she said, the client records have been locked up by the NCRC and are not accessible. “There’s not a lot of communication” with the NCRC, Holcomb said.
However, NCRC driver Joseph Zazo has been hired to continue with pickup of food donations by supermarkets, offering some continuity.
Holcomb said the community can support the effort with food and financial donations, and by volunteering.
Individuals must meet USDA income eligibility guidelines with incomes less than $1,361/month for one person or $2,794/month for a four person household. Persons accessing the Food Pantry are also encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.
Questions may be directed to Jason Hervin, Pantry Network Coordinator for Food for People, at (707) 445-3166 ext. 316.