Fri. Jul 30th, 2021

By JODI BRANNON

Statesboro Foods Bank

As the recent operations director for The Foods Financial institution, Inc., I was notified by a Statesboro Herald reporter on March 15 that our recent locale had been bought and will be demolished for the construction of a new senior residing facility. 

Even even though we realized the outdated Julia P. Bryant School was deemed temporary, the unanticipated information was jarring. The Board of Directors and I are grateful to the Board of Education and learning for permitting us to run from the previous school for the past 7 years. The place do we go from right here? 

On the heels of what has been our toughest nonetheless most impactful yr at any time, our long run feels unsure. The mobile phone has been ringing nonstop. Our supporters and shoppers have been asking, “When and where are you shifting?”  “Are you likely to be shut?”  I cannot lie, just after this exhausting exercise in perseverance above the earlier year, I ponder if I personally have the vitality to support our Board as we deal with this new obstacle. 

Numerous of you realized my father, Joe Invoice Brannon. Regrettably, he passed away this past summer season all through the most exhausting and stress filled time of the pandemic. He experienced an unrelenting enthusiasm for building absolutely sure that no 1 would go to bed hungry with so quite a few supportive folks in the local community. “Keep the Faith” was his mantra. We have endeavored to do so. 

Due to the fact March 2020, the Meals Financial institution could not near its doors. Bulloch County citizens required food a lot more than ever and we served up to 800 customers a thirty day period with curbside delivery—approximately triple the pre-pandemic charge.

Following some soul-exploring, I understood my father would want me to proceed to educate these who are unaware of who we are, what we do for the group, and how we do it.  He would also explain to me to give some others a chance to receive a blessing, by doing what they can to aid their neighbors. 

Who we are

We are a private registered 501c3 charity overseen by a board of administrators that serves Bulloch County by offering foods sources. We are a United Way member company and a member of Second Harvest of the Coastal Empire – which is portion of Feeding America.

What we do / How we do it

We deliver our citizens in require of crisis food items assets with a 7-day supply, for every family members member, of groceries based mostly on USDA dietary specifications.

We run on funds from United Way, monetary and foodstuff donations from organizations, firms, churches, and personal citizens. We are not a federal, point out or town government business and are not funded by governing administration means. We do implement for grants, when suitable, to more our mission to feed the hungry in Bulloch County. We have a few component-time important staff users that are modestly compensated: functions director, pantry supervisor, and functions assistant. We have relationships with area grocery retailers and restaurants that have to have weekly pickups to health supplement the nonperishable items with further things this sort of as fresh new meat, bread, fruit and vegetables 

Functioning methods

Before the Pandemic. We use referral companies who have information of the demands of our citizens to refer consumers to obtain crisis food stuff. The Section of Family and Kid’s Providers who oversees the SNAP (Food Stamp) Method is our major referral agency as the system for implementing and eventually receiving resources for food items can have prolonged wait periods. Other referral businesses include the Red Cross, United Way, A.C.T.S. (Spot Christians Collectively in Assistance), MyActionPact (previously Concerted Expert services), Pineland Psychological Wellbeing and Bulloch Wellness Centre. We were being regularly contacted by wellbeing businesses trying to find support for their clientele.

Jodi Brannon

About the Earlier Calendar year. Due to Covid-19, most location companies ended up not open up to the public and referrals turned challenging to get hold of for our shoppers. Suspending our operations was viewed as in the early days, with the dread and uncertainty that came with the virus. But the need for food was even additional commonplace owing to furloughed employees and agency shutdowns, hence our mission grew to become extra important. 

We made the decision to rest many limits for proof-of-eligibility and have been running with get in touch with- in appointments and curbside pickups. We also severely confined our volunteers so there was a incredible workload throughout the spring, summertime and drop. United Way and Pineland/Bulloch Wellness were ready to supply sources via deliveries of meals from the Food items Bank to homebound and susceptible populations.

The change in how we assist

We are blessed to have other companies that supplement food items resources to our neighbors. Operating alongside one another, we collectively created this previous year simpler for quite a few with no food items. Nonetheless, since we are an emergency food items financial institution that uniquely supplies weekly food items rations, our functions have often been the greatest resource of dependable help for these who observed themselves in need of food. We have distributed foods Monday as a result of Friday with out fall short through the whole past year for the duration of the pandemic and at times severe temperature disorders. 

How you have assisted

Above the past several years, persons, collegiate companies, companies, civic teams and church buildings have held food drives to support us offset our food items fees. Several churches and persons have comprehended the want for monetary donations so that we can pay out our overhead and understanding that our 2nd Harvest membership makes it possible for us to procure needed food items merchandise inexpensively. 

This previous 12 months, we have seen an inflow of donations as people have mirrored on the desires of our neighborhood all through the pandemic. We have not experienced suitable time and employees to thank you individually but hope that you know we attempt to use all the assets donated to wipe out hunger and much better our neighbors’ life. 

How you can help now

These up coming months will be a snapshot in time that will reflect how Bulloch County residents watch our mission and, while it feels complicated for me individually, I believe that we can do this together! Remember to assistance us distribute the phrase, we want a new location. Please discuss to loved ones, good friends and small business associates and give us your tips. We need to have continued financial guidance and sooner or later will need to have volunteers to assist us transfer to a new area. Most of all, we want your prayers and encouragement to maintain combating the good combat to preserve this critical community resource operational. “Keep the Faith!” 

Jodi Brannon is functions director for the Food Bank, Inc.