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Walkers young and old(er) gather at the entrance of the Almanor Basin Food Pantry in Chester for the second annual 5k Walk-a-Thon fundraiser May 27. Photos by Stacy Fisher

Annual walk-a-thon benefits food pantry

Participants in the Walk-A-Thon wave as they walk by with friends and others in the community for a worthwhile cause. Walkers were later served a free lunch featuring quarter-pounder beef hot dogs and chili after they returned from the approximately 3-mile route.

The Almanor Basin Food Pantry in Chester hosted its second annual 5k Walk-a-Thon fundraiser May 27, to raise money to help buy additional food items and to defray the cost of operating the pantry, including liability insurance, rent and utilities.

Participants registered at 9 a.m. for the walk, and then enjoyed a continental breakfast at the pantry, located in Chester at 691 Main St., The walk started at 10 a.m. Registration fees and donations subsidized the fundraiser.

Walkers were later served a free lunch featuring quarter-pounder beef hot dogs and chili after they returned from the approximately 3-mile route. Carol Franchetti of Carol’s Café & Deli in Prattville donated the hot dogs and buns, with the rest of the food supplied by the pantry.

Those who participated in the Walk-A-Thon seemed to have had a great time walking with friends and others in the community for a worthwhile cause.

Although The Food Bank of Northern Nevada donates most of the foodstuff at the pantry, there’s still a need for several hundred dollars a month more to purchase additional staples that Northern Nevada might not always have in stock.

Pamela Mashburn, ABFP board president, said the Walk-A-Thon helps to keep the pantry fully stocked until their major fundraiser in September, which is an invitation-only dinner at Carol’s Cafe & Deli, which also includes a silent auction.

Mashburn emphasized that the pantry is always open to food donations from the community, but they’re especially appreciative for cash donations too because the kind of food that can be purchased through the Nevada Food Pantry is just a fraction of what it costs to buy it at the grocery store.

A larger space for the pantry to move into from its current location has been problematic because of higher rent and a lack of suitable buildings to choose from. The pantry is also in the process of applying for tax exempt status as a nonprofit.“Once we do that we can apply for both private and federal grants,” Mashburn noted. In the meantime, a number of donation jars can be found at merchant locations, including B & B Booksellers and The Coffee Station.

Volunteers are always appreciated at the pantry, she said, to provide assistance driving a truck to pick up food in Quincy where Northern Nevada Food Bank drops off food, as well as for other duties.

As a community effort, a number of organizations are involved in the pantry, including Lake Almanor Community Church, Chester United Methodist Church, Intermountain Hardware and Supplies, Chester Rotary and the Lake Almanor Elks, all supporting the efforts of the pantry’s mission.

“We really appreciate everyone who came out today to participate in the Walk-A-Thon,” Mashburn said, “as well as those in the community who donate to the pantry. It means so much that we can continue to help those in need.”

A continental breakfast is made available at the pantry location to participants to enjoy after registering for the morning 5k Walk-A-Thon on May 27.

She further mentioned that most of the pantry’s clients consist of the working poor, “including many couples and single parent families, who often find themselves having to choose between paying rent and utilities and having enough food to supplement their budgets. … We also have a number of elderly and disabled who come to the pantry for food.”

The pantry, which serves up to 50 to 60 families, or about 150 people, twice a month, is open the first and third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon, “and all applicants from around the Lake Almanor Basin are welcome.”

Mashburn asks those who donate food to check expiration dates, “because even though many canned goods are still usable after the stated expiration date, we cannot legally hand them out.” On the other hand, she said that packages that have “Best Used By” stamped on it could still be handed out up to 10 days before they have to throw them out.

Future dates of food distribution at the ABFP are June 17, July 8, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 19, Sept. 2 and Sept. 16.

For more information, to donate or to volunteer at the pantry, call Pam Mashburn, board president, at 284-1304. Cash or checks can also be sent to: P.O. Box 1445, Chester, CA 96020, made out to Almanor Basin Food Pantry or ABFP.

2 thoughts on “Annual walk-a-thon benefits food pantry

  • Your headline is misspelled. It’s “benefit.”

  • Inhtamlers taking care of the irresponsibles

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