New Programs at the Thayne Community Food Bank
Part 3 of Fresh Produce Arrives at the Thayne Community Food Bank
As the TCFB grows, it remains committed to serving its patrons in the best way it can. In early spring 2019, the TCFB realized that during normal opening hours, it was missing an important group of individuals: veterans.
“We recognized that we didn’t have veterans coming through the door during our normal open time, so we’ve added a veteran night,” said Julie.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are available during veteran’s night, and as with other patrons, the fresh items have been a major draw.
“There were double the number of veterans two weeks ago than in June and I would have to tell you that most of it, I believe, is because of what we are offering fresh,” said Julie.
Also new in spring 2019 is TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) which works with food pantries and banks to provide supplemental foods to qualifying individuals and families. Jillaine is the coordinator of the program for the TCFB, and the relationship with Shelley proved to be helpful when the first foods arrived.
“Our very first item that we received was lentils and no one knew what to do with lentils,” said Jillaine. “So, Shelley was able to give us some recipes to use for lentils and explain to people how to cook them, and they did go over very well eventually.”
Growing Produce for the Thayne Community Food Bank
Patrick Laveder, Thayne Community Food Bank volunteer and gardener, grew up on an 11 acre farm, so growing food comes naturally to him. When he moved to Star Valley area in 2017, he used this experience to act as caretaker of 6 garden boxes at Star Valley United Church, where the TCFB started. The garden boxes are now being used to help provide the fresh vegetables to the TCFB.
“We harvest and bring the fresh vegetables here every Friday,” said Patrick.
Thayne is in a Zone 4 growing area, which is a new experience for Patrick. He finds that some vegetables, like tomatoes, don’t grow as well in this zone. Nonetheless, the garden has flourished with cooler weather crops, like beets, peas, carrots, radishes, squash, lettuce, and cucumbers. Staggering the planning helps to make sure that the harvest doesn’t come in all at once and lasts longer.
Patrick loves volunteering with the TCFB and seeing his love of gardening benefit people.
“It’s just pretty exciting to be a part of a community that helps within the community,” he said.
Read more about the Thayne Community Food Bank’s work.