The Emery County Food Bank recently hired Mary Kava as its new coordinator. Kava’s job is to coordinate food distribution to families in Emery County who are in need of the food bank’s services.
Once a month, the food bank receives food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Utah Food Bank. Donations also come in from citizens, grocery stores and food drives by scouts, church youth groups and schools within the Emery County area. Kava stated that all of the food that is collected in the area stays in Emery County.
When the food comes into the food bank, it is Kava’s responsibility to ensure that the food is sorted, organized and stocked on shelves in accordance to shelf life. It is then distributed to boxes based on the size of the families and what their needs are. Whenever they have extra stuff, they add those items to the boxes as well.
The food bank also receives senior boxes for citizens who are 60 or older, depending on their income needs, which are prepackaged. They provide emergency boxes based on the needs of the families as well.
The Emery County Food Bank works with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF is a program designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. Julie Walker is available at the food bank to assist families in applying for the program. They also work with the Woman’s Shelter and Early Intervention.
Once a month, Barbara Jones and Kris Bell host a Cooking for Commodities class at the Emery County Food Bank, which demonstrates how to cook from scratch with items that families may receive in their box each month. There is also a class titled Festive Fridays, which families can attend for a nominal fee and helps educate them how to budget each month.
Kava is currently working on a system to get everything organized and to help determine approximately the number of families that may come into the food bank each week. She is looking to get bins to start food drives within the schools along with other areas within the community to expand their partnerships. Kava would also like to get a recognition program started and she is looking at the possibility of adding a community garden in the future.
The food bank is in need of volunteers to help prepare boxes and to assist Kava with stocking the shelves. They are also looking for certified forklift operators. However, if a volunteer is not certified, Joy Mining in Price will certify people free of charge.
Emery County Food Bank is located at 40 South Main in Castle Dale and can be reached at (435) 381-5410 between the hours of 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Kava can also be contacted at (435) 749-9970.
Kava encourages those who would like to volunteer to call or stop in. Donations are accepted at any time and can be dropped off at the food bank.