Prairie Land Food, which serves Kansas and Oklahoma, has been awarded a grant from Cargill to help 44 families in the Sedgwick County area get introduced to saving on their grocery bills through the program which offers discount groceries in exchange for volunteer hours during a month.
Families on a tight budget often find that ordering at the beginning of the month and waiting to pick up on the third Satuday can be difficult to get started with the program. This grant enables Prairie Land to give 44 deserving families a Prairie Pak of meats and vegetables to help get them started. These families often do not qualify for the state food program, but struggle as household income has been halved with a job loss.
People who are already participating, as well as those who know a family that could use help to stretch their budget each month can recommend families to receive the first Prairie Pak which will be distributed in August, September, or October, depending on when the grant funds come through.
“It is making that first purchase that is difficult, we hope that by receiving their first Prairie Pak provided by the grant, that it will make it much easier for the recipient to make purchases from Prairie Land Food in coming months,” said June Glasgow, director for the program.
Last year, Prairie Land also received a grant, but a number of families did not take responsibility to pick up their packages at the location that was agreed upon. Prairie Land volunteers called to follow up, made deliveries and even when they could not get ahold of the family that was supposed to have received the package, found other deserving families to be sure that the food would be used by a family in need.
“I was very proud of them and felt they had gone way beyond what is required of them to serve the families,” Glasgow said.
Glasgow asks that there be thought given to the families or individuals submitted. “We hope the recipient will appreciate the food that is given to them, and they will be responsible to pick up the food packages at the location, on the designated date and during the time specified,” said Glasgow.
Individuals and families who were submitted to receive the Prairie Pak last year are not eligible for this year’s distribution. The purpose is to help these families get started with Prairie Land to be able to enjoy the benefit of the discount grocery program and encourage them to engage in volunteering to continue participating. Only two hours of volunteer service are asked for to get the Prairie Pak for $25. Volunteer service is broadly defined within the program so that almost anyone can find that they have hours that qualify.
This is an opportunity for a hand up rather than a hand out to get them started with the program. Additionally, Prairie Land Food posts reciepes on the web site and will send them via email if requested to help prepare healthy meals from the meats and vegetables received.
Those who submit a family to participate will receive a copy of the receipt sent to the nominee that includes the information on the agreed upon pick up location so that you know your nominee will be receiving a Prairie Pak.
To nominate a family, contact Glasgow at Prairie Land Food, [email protected], to receive a nomination form. Forms should be filled out and returned in the next two weeks so that should the grant come through as early as August, families can be identified for the August pick up. There are 11 pick up locations in Wichita, plus locations in Mulvane, Derby, Haysville, and Valley Center in Sedgwick County.
“We would like to thank Cargill for their generosity and the individuals and organizations for your help to find these families,” Glasgow said.