SACA expands hours: Now offers families weekly food pantry access

April 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, Your Health

Paul Scoville, SACA’s Communications/Events Coordinator and Sarah DeSantis, SACA’s Executive Director. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

Effective April 1, Silverton Area Community Aid (SACA) began offering weekly food pantry visits rather than monthly ones – and added evening hours Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

According to SACA Communications/Events Coordinator Paul Scoville, “We went from a system where a person or family could come in for food once a month to now once a week. It’s taken quite a bit of time, energy and effort to make the change,” he said, adding that the expansion of services coincides with SACA’s vision of wanting to provide people in need in the community with more access to food.

SACA Executive Director Sarah DeSantis explained that SACA has also been working to purchase and acquire more fresh and frozen items like fruit, vegetables, cheese, milk, eggs and meat.

“Fresh and frozen foods are often more nutritious than shelf-stable ones, which have traditionally been the mainstay at food pantries,” DeSantis said. “We’re making great use of our resources to increase the fresh and frozen food offerings in our pantry. It made sense to move to weekly pantry visits both because we wanted to provide more food throughout the month – and because fresh foods don’t last as long as shelf-stable ones.”

SACA used to offer about an eight- to 10-day supply of food per household during a monthly visit. Now it can offer about a five-day supply of food each week, a sizable increase.

“To gear up for this change, we modified the pantry layout to improve efficiency and make more space for fresh food. We also brought in some new volunteers to accommodate the addition of the new Thursday evening shift. Our community always steps up to help, for which we are ever grateful,” DeSantis said.

Scoville added, “It’s nice to put our energy and efforts into something that’s going to make such a positive impact. Our clients will be able to get a lot more food.”

As for donations, SACA can always use items like peanut butter, tuna, beans and other high-protein foods. Personal hygiene products are currently in short supply, as are baby supplies like diapers and wipes.

SACA serves residents of the Silver Falls School District who meet federal income guidelines. In addition to the food pantry, SACA also provides financial assistance for items such as rent, utilities, transportation/fuel, and prescriptions.

SACA’s updated hours of operation are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is located in the Silverton Community Center, 421 S. Water St., Silverton. 503-873-3446.

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