Altrusa International of Delta has been awarded a $4,000 grant for a community service project to raise awareness about hunger in Delta County.
The grant was awarded by the Altrusa International Foundation, which commended the Delta Altrusans for their "interest and support of this worthwhile service opportunity."
Altrusa International of Delta has been involved with the Delta Food Pantry since 1988. This hands-on service project relies on two members who spend an hour a week, 12 months a year, to hand out food items, restock shelves, and replenish and repackage paper sacks.
In addition, club members provide books, food items and hygiene items for "We Care Bags" provided for all the families. The hygiene items are collected from those who travel, supplemented by $100 budgeted annually for that purpose. Annually Altrusa and Astra members help sort and stock food items collected by the postal carriers' annual food drive. Two Altrusa members are on the board of directors of the Delta Food Pantry. As co-director and purchasing agent, they spend countless hours making sure food is purchased, volunteers are scheduled and making sure the pantry is clean and stocked properly.
At club meetings, members are given a list of food items most in need. This helps to replenish food items such as cereal, fruit, tuna, Jiffy mix, peanut butter, ramen noodles, canned tomato products and soups. A budget line item of $1,300 was established to purchase food and paper sacks for the food pantries in Delta and Cedaredge. Club members are also involved periodically with food drives.
Delta Food Pantry provided 154,437 pounds of food in 2018, which equates to 51,390 meals. On average, eight families per day, with four to eight family members, receive food Monday through Friday. They can receive food every two months.
Delta Food Pantry relies solely on donations from individuals, businesses, churches and occasionally, a grant. The food pantry operates under contract with Food Bank of the Rockies, to keep food costs at a minimum.
The need for assistance continues to grow and Altrusa International of Delta plans to continue to support this project for years to come.