Chester residents needing food assistance have been fortunate enough to utilize the services of the Almanor Basin Food Pantry, which opened Sept. 19, 2015.
The pantry is open on the first and third Saturday of the month, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., for clients needing to supplement their nutritional food requirements.
The board of directors announced that the ABFP is picking up and moving to 386 A Main St., formally Mt. Methodist Child Care Center, on March 17.
The pantry serves people who may be unemployed or low-income families and individuals who aren’t making enough money to cover all their bills, explained ABFP Board President Pam Mashburn.
Bob Caton, the late Jerry Boyd, Carol Franchetti, Kate Kent, Maxine Selby and Pam Mashburn were the driving force behind the opening of the original pantry three years ago. The board now also includes Philip Randolph, with Darrah Hopper as warehouse manager.
Although about 80 percent of the food that’s received at the pantry is donated and purchased through the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, board members continue to actively pursue community monetary support, to help pay the rent at the new pantry location, as well as for liability insurance, utilities and for additional food items they need to purchase in order to provide well-rounded, balanced food bags.
Residents within the communities that ring the Lake Almanor Basin, including Chester, Hamilton Branch, the east shore area, Canyon Dam, West Almanor, Prattville and residents living along the west shore are eligible for food assistance with some form of identification and/or a utility bill with their address on it.
Mashburn said the pantry welcomes donated food items that have not expired, but prefers cash donations because it can get more value in the purchase of food using cash. For example, a donated box of cereal may cost $3 at the grocery store, but for that same $3, the pantry can purchase 18 boxes of the same cereal through the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
Volunteers are also needed to help distribute food at the pantry and for additional tasks.
“There is a constant need for food distribution in our county,” Mashburn shared, “and so far the community has been very supportive.”
Should the board find there is a bigger need in the community for food, they will open their doors on additional days to accommodate more people.
For information, and to donate or volunteer to man the pantry and provide other needed functions, call Pam Mashburn at 284-1304. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1445, Chester, CA., 96020, made out to Almanor Basin Food Pantry, or ABFP.