The need for food assistance is growing. IFM has 3 drive-through food distributions per week where families can receive free, nutritious groceries and other helpful items like diapers and pet food. We used to average 150 families per day, or 450 families per week. The weekly numbers have been steadily climbing for the last 9-10 months. For the first time ever in the month of July 2022, IFM’s daily average reached 210 families, or 630 families per week. This is a massive 40% increase in demand for our services!
Why the significant increase now? Some might say that there are very complicated reasons behind the recent increase in need that are on an international scale, perhaps citing the COVID pandemic or the war in Ukraine.
The families visiting IFM recently have put it more simply … … “everything costs more right now and coming to IFM saves me lots of money on my grocery bill!”
What is the impact of this increase? Clients have even longer wait times in the drive through line and IFM staff and volunteers are feeling the strain, and the recent heatwave adds additional challenges to the drive through model. IFM’s food budget is stretched thin, feeling the impact of both higher food prices and increased demand. To put it simply, our 3 food distribution events that are held every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10am-1pm are getting overwhelmed!
What is the solution? Expand our services by adding a 4th weekly distribution day. Starting on September 3rd, IFM will begin holding food distribution events EVERY Saturday 10am-12pm. Families needing free supplemental groceries are allowed to come to IFM once per week, and they will now have 4 choices of days to pick from: Monday, Wednesday, or Friday 10am-1pm, or Saturday 10am-12pm.
Our hope is that some families currently coming on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will now choose to come in on Saturdays instead, where they are likely to see shorter lines and wait times. We also hope that anyone who can’t currently access us during the weekdays will now be able to visit us on Saturdays.
Who else is helping? Although IFM staff and volunteers are leading this effort, United Way of Nevada County and our supporting churches are also playing critical roles. We are also receiving additional food from Placer Food Bank and the Food Bank of Nevada County to prepare for this expansion of our services.
How can you help? By taking ACTION. Volunteer, donate, and/or help connect a neighbor in need with our services. We believe everyone that needs help should be comfortable asking for it. Take direct action and help distribute food on M, W, F, 7am-2pm (you don’t have to stay the whole time) or on our newly added Saturdays, with volunteer hours of 8am-1pm. Donations are also sorely needed due to rising food prices.
More details on IFM’s many options for ways to volunteer and donate can be found on our website: interfaithfoodministry.org or call 273-8132 for more info. Together we can put nutritious food onto families’ tables and meet the increased need.