HOW WE OPERATE
We distribute food twice a month based on a predefined schedule. The government recommendation is that we provide three days of food to each family. Through the food and cash donations we receive, we aim to distribute enough for at least a week for each family. Distributions include products the government does not provide and that cannot be purchased with SNAP funds, including essential items like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, and detergent.
Each distribution requires much preparation and great effort from our volunteers. To learn more about the specific steps, please review the timeline below - it will guide you through the whole process of our operation.
CLIENT CHOICE MODEL
We believe that everyone deserves to have a choice. That's why we've adopted the grocery store-type distribution model where clients can come in and choose their own food just like they would in a grocery store. We believe that this gives our clients dignity and respect, and also helps us to decrease food waste. Clients are able to take only what they need and want, so there's less chance that food will go to waste.
It also provides a great opportunity for volunteer and client interaction because volunteers can connect with clients on a much closer basis. When volunteers get to know their clients, they better understand their needs, how best to help them, and build trusting relationships. These trusting relationships are important to make sure clients feel comfortable and encouraged to share their needs. We’re proud to be able to offer this type of distribution, and we hope that it can help make a difference in our community.
I love the new system where we can come in and shop. It is great to be able to select what I want and leave other items for folks that might need it more. With the cost of food so high, I could not afford to do this on my own - the Food Closet is such a blessing, and all the volunteers are so nice and helpful.
- CLIENT FEEDBACK
For the past year, we have been providing reusable bags to all our Food Closet clients in anticipation of the 2022 single-use plastic bag ban. And now, we are using reusable bags nearly 100% of the time. Not only is this better for the environment, but it also helps us to allocate donations to other necessities instead of bags.