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Holiday food box efforts underway

◆ Baskets will be ready for pick-up on December 17.

Things are a bit hectic this week at the Afton Food Pantry, as community volunteers work to prepare for the Christmas Season.

“Last year we gave our 203 holiday food boxes,” said Sierra Mitchell of the Afton Food Pantry. “Those boxes were utilized by families from Alpine to Cokeville. We sent a few of the boxes as far as Kemmerer and Rock Springs through partnership efforts with some different agencies and organizations we work with. This year we are expecting to have at least that many and probably more food boxes.”

Agencies and church groups helping with the distribution of food boxes to those in need will gather at the Afton Food Pantry from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, December 17.

Food Pantry Patrons will pick up their holiday food boxes at the pantry on December 17 from 5-7 p.m.
“Please pull around the back of the pantry,” said Mitchell.

In addition to food boxes, volunteers have adopted 25 senior citizens and have filled a stocking for them, Mitchell said.

Local humanitarian groups have made blankets. Hats and stuffed animals have been donated.

“We make sure that each family who gets a food box gets something to go with it,” said Mitchell. “We also have 300 stockings stuffed with candy for children. So it has been a busy time for us and the different groups and agencies we are working with on the holiday food box project.”

According to Mitchell, hundreds of volunteers have given their time to make Christmas special for area families in need.

“We want to make sure families have the food that they need and are taken care of this holiday season,” said Mitchell. “There are over 800 volunteer hours in getting everything ready. We appreciate all of the support and the different groups that help us out during the holiday season. We have a lot of help during the holidays and would like to invite people to continue to volunteer at the pantry throughout the year.”

According to Mitchell, this year the food banks in Star Valley have seen significant increases in the number of families utilizing the services available. Community food drives have been a lifesaver, she said.

“Right now the Feed the Angels Food Drive is taking place and we encourage people to participate in that if they can,” Mitchell said. “We will have our Fighting Hunger Food Drive in late winter or early spring to replenish our shelves so that we can keep serving those in need in the coming months.”

According to Mitchell, the most needed items at the food pantry throughout the year include: pasta, cereal, soup, peanut butter, jelly and canned meat.

Donations of cash are always accepted, she said.

“We have the volunteers that we need for the holiday season at this point and everything is starting to come together,” Mitchell said. “It truly is Christmas magic how people come together and work on something this big, each doing a little part, to get the job done. It is perfect Christmas magic in action.”

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