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Springville brings new food pantry to the table

By Genelle Pugmire daily Herald - | Apr 10, 2021
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Springville is ready to go for the Saturday opening of a new food bank. (Left to right), Brent Haymond, from Kiwanis, Leticia Goodman with Unite Us, Kathy Shull and Alice Giatras, volunteers were working to prepare the pantry on Friday, April 9, 2021.

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Shelves at the new Springville food pantry are stocked and ready for Saturday's opening. April 9, 2021. 

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The new Springville food pantry is housed in the old Grant Elementary School, which is now owned and used by the Mountainland Head Start program. April 9, 2021. 

On Saturday, a new food pantry will open in Springville, thanks to the local Kiwanis Club, Mountainland Head Start, and a lot of creative thinking.

On March 18, Kiwanis Club of Springville members met with Tom Hogan, associate director at Community Action Services & Food Bank, and local volunteers to finalize the launch of a new food pantry.

The Kiwanis Club of Springville will operate the pantry as a satellite of the Provo-based food bank and in collaboration with Mountainland Head Start at the former Grant School, located at 400 East and 100 South.

Brent Haymond, project director of the Kiwanis Club, gives “thanks to Community Action Services & Food Bank and Mountainland Head Start for collaborating with us on this effort.”

The COVID-19 pandemic decimated the raising of money for the Kiwanis coffers. Much of the money raised every year was done at the Springville Art City Days celebration, which was canceled, according to Haymond. But the little band of about 12 members still carried on with helping the community.

In December, the Kiwanis held its annual food drive and, according to Haymond, got half again as much as it had ever received in food donations.

It allowed the club to make boxes filled with 30 pounds of food each. Boxes were delivered to local churches and more.

“We gave 150 boxes to the Nebo School District for at-risk families,” Haymond said. “We had 125 boxes left over. We gathered it and put it in a pantry.”

Haymond said the Kiwanis contacted Community Action’s Food Bank and agreed to give it the leftover food and it would, in turn, return back weekly orders to replenish the pantry throughout the year.

“This will be a great opportunity for the citizens of Springville to step up and help each other through some hard times,” Haymond said.

The pantry was started with over 4,000 pounds of staples gathered by Kiwanis during the Sub-for-Santa food drive.

Mountainland Head Start is generously providing the space. Haymond noted that Head Start had purchased the Grant school, but it needed new windows and other things before it could open.

“The Kiwanis stepped in and lobbied the legislature, and Head Start was given $165,000 to fix the school,” Haymond said. “That is how we got the pantry in a room of the school.”

Haymond added, “Community Action has put up a freezer, refrigerator, shelving and other equipment as well as providing ongoing restocking of our community pantry.”

This pantry joins others in the state that are partnering with Community Action.

Another organization, Unite Us, also will be helping and partnering with the pantry. According to Leticia Goodman, with Unite Us, the group will be able to link those coming to the food pantry with other services they may need in the area.

“Those coming to the food bank often have other needs,” Goodman said. “Some are getting food and also may not be able to pay their utility bill or see a doctor.”

Goodman said Unite Us connects individuals to health and social services.

“This will be the fourth satellite pantry we will be assisting,” said Tom Hogan, director of the Community Action Food Bank. “We have had great success in helping the people of Coalville, Kamas and Heber valley.”

Kent Woolf, Kiwanis president, said he was encouraged by the outpouring of support from the community.

“It is the people of Springville who will make this work,” Woolf said. “Already several good-hearted people from all around Springville have committed to fill some of the permanent volunteer positions.”

There will be an ongoing need for several people to help out for a few hours each of the three days the pantry will be open, Woolf said.

The pantry will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and again on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

Haymond noted that not much money has had to be used to get this project going.

“It’s a great miracle for our community,” Haymond said. “It is one of our (Kiwanis) better deals in the past 10 years.”

Haymond said they are looking at other long-term ways to help the community with other projects.

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