Rather than throwing away untouched leftovers, a group of state-certified kitchens has united as Daily Bread – Jamestown to bring those leftovers to people in need.
The program began with Ave Maria Village in 2010, patterned after the Daily Bread program in Fargo. Since then it has expanded, with three organizations donating food and four pick-up locations.
“We are working on a couple, three others,” said Deacon Tom Geffre, chaplain at Ave Maria.
So far, the food donors are Ave Maria, the University of Jamestown and James- town Regional Medical Center.
The local RSVP+ program is helping get the food from the donors to the four distribution points.
Pick-up locations are the Salvation Army, the James River Senior and Community Center, Community Action and Jamestown Head Start.
Anyone in need can go to one of those locations and get the food, with no paperwork, registration or cost. No one in need will be turned away, Geffre said, and all the food is already prepared and only needs to be reheated.
“It was great that UJ came on board. We actually had our first pick up from them last week,” Geffre said.
Geffre is one of nine people on the organization’s new board of directors, which so far has met twice.
The others are Candi Otto, Joan Morris, Tyler Lamp, Darla Schmitz, the Rev. Al Bitz, Laurie McGuire, Deb Lee and Rhonda Sahr.
“We’ll eventually be putting together our guidelines and mission statement and the like,” Geffre said.
He and the other board members are still actively searching for more participants for the program, which is currently gathering about 40 to 50 pounds of food per week.
That food includes just about anything that can be frozen — day-old muffins and baked goods, breaded pork cutlets, au gratin potatoes and more. The University of Jamestown is even pondering blanching fresh vegetables so that they, too, can be frozen.
Most of JRMC’s contributions are baked goods.
Rather than tossing day-old muffins at the end of the second day, the staff bags them and puts them in the freezer, said Carol Goldade, who works in nutrition services at JRMC.
“My staff feels so much better about putting it in a bag and putting it in the freezer than throwing it (away),” Goldade said.
JRMC may eventually become more involved in the program and expand the offerings it sets aside for Daily Bread – Jamestown in the future.
All food in the Daily Bread program is provided by state-certified kitchens, and contributors are protected under the Good Samaritan law.
“The report is, whenever food is dropped off at one of the distribution points, in a day or two it’s gone,” Geffre said.
He hopes the amount of food available increases over time, and that more kitchens will join the effort.
“I’m so appreciative that they’re making an effort to provide food for people who need it,” Goldade said. “… it’s really a great program. I’m really all in favor of it and I hope it works out.”
Donations to the program help pay for bags, coolers and freezers, and may be sent to Geffre at 501 19th St. NE, Jamestown, ND 58401.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at email@example.com