Food Closet gives away record groceries

Food Closet buyer Kay Robertson prepares to carry more groceries out to people waiting in their vehicles.

Pantry reserves cut with April 2 distribution

fter preparing 60 sets of groceries – boxes and bags of fresh produce, dry goods, frozen meats and sta- ples for The Community Food Closet’s “impromptu” April 2 distribution, 18 or so volunteers then scrambled to put together another 40.

Thursday night’s drive-up distribution, with volunteers bringing groceries out to people’s cars and trucks, was planned “just in case,” said Food Closet purchasing agent and treasurer Kay Robertson.

“It was a shocker,” she said of the two- hour evening distribution. “There were a

lot of people that we haven’t seen in awhile and there were a lot of people who have just lost or anticipate losing their jobs. I’m glad we could help.”

At its March distribution at the old Mar- bleton Senior Center, they had given away 52 sets of groceries, far more than the usual 30 to 35, she said, adding that it is obvi- ous more people need their assistance with food.

Robertson and her helpers were totally unprepared for April 2’s 5 p.m. opening though with cars and trucks lined up for three blocks. One by one, the vehicles pulled forward to the former senior center’s sidewalk where masked and gloved volun- teers loaded bags and boxes into trunks and truck beds.

All Robertson asked for was a last name and how many families the drivers were picking up for with some older and unwell citizens unable to come themselves. She be- lieves that most were from Marbleton, Big Piney, LaBarge and Pinedale.

The unexpected rush cut into the Food Closet’s reserves but Robertson said she always keeps about three months’ worth of commodities on hand.

Volunteers included Town of Marbleton employees and residents, Big Piney Mayor Tyler Maxfield and family and others who help the Food Closet every month.

“I can’t even tell you how much I have depended on them,” Robertson said of the Marbleton crew. “They bend over backward to help. They are really my go-to team.”

Her volunteers unload the truck ship- ments from the Wyoming Food Bank, set out the groceries and sort them into bus tubs, bags and boxes for each family. Thursday’s event was a dry run for the reg- ularly scheduled April 14 drive-up distribu- tion from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Someone with a food emergency can visit ministers of any Marbleton or Big Piney church or call Marbleton Town Hall for information about The Community Food Pantry at 307-276-3815.

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