On Saturday, a new food kitchen will open in Springville, thanks to the local Kiwanist Club, Mountainland Head Start, and lots of creative thinking.
On March 18, members of the Kiwanis Club of Springville met with Tom Hogan, associate director at Community Action Services & Food Bank, and local volunteers to complete the launch of the new food pantry.
The Kiwanis Club of Springville will operate the pantry as a Provo-based satellite food bank and work closely with Mountainland Head Start at the former Grant School, which is located at 400 East and 100 South.
Brent Haymond, project director of the Kiwanis Club, would like to “thank Community Action Services & Food Bank and Mountainland Head Start for working with us on this effort”.
The COVID-19 pandemic is destroying fundraising for Kiwanis coffers. Most of the money raised each year goes to the Springville Art City Days celebrations, which were canceled, according to Haymond. But the small group of about 12 people continues to help the community.
In December, the Kiwans hold their annual meal and, according to Haymond, get half the amount they ever received from food donations.
That allows the club to create boxes containing 30 pounds of food each. Boxes are delivered to local churches and more.
“We gave 150 boxes to the Nebo School District for families at risk,” said Haymond. “We have 125 boxes left. We collect them and put them in the kitchen. “
Haymond said the Kiwans contacted the Community Action Food Bank and agreed to provide leftovers and would, in turn, return weekly orders to restock kitchens throughout the year.
“This will be a great opportunity for the residents of Springville to come forward and help each other through difficult times,” said Haymond.
The Pantry started with more than 4,000 pounds of staples the Kiwanis gathered during the Sub-for-Santa food drive.
Mountainland Head Start generously provides space. Haymond noted that Head Start had bought the Grant school, but it needed new windows and other things before it could open.
“Kiwani stepped in and lobbied the legislature, and Head Start was given $ 165,000 to fix the school,” said Haymond. “That’s how we got the kitchen in the school room.”
Haymond adds, “Community Action has provided refrigerators, fridges, shelves and other utensils as well as providing continuous refilling of our community kitchens.”
This kitchen is joined by others in the state who are partnering with Community Action.
Another organization, Unite Us, will also assist and partner with the pantry. According to Leticia Goodman, with Unite Us, the group will be able to connect those who come to the food pantry with other services they may need in the area.
“Those who come to the food bank often have other needs,” Goodman said. “Some get food and also may not be able to pay utility bills or see a doctor.”
Goodman said Unite Us connects individuals to health and social services.
“This will be the fourth satellite pantry that we will assist,” said Tom Hogan, director of the Community Action Food Bank. “We have been very successful in helping the people in Coalville, Kamas and the Heber Valley.”
Kent Woolf, president of Kiwanis, said he was encouraged by the overwhelming support from the community.
“The people in Springville are going to make this work,” Woolf said. “Already some kindhearted people from all over Springville have committed to filling several permanent volunteer positions.”
There will be a continuing need for some people to help out during each of the three days the kitchen will open, Woolf said.
The Pantry will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm and open again on Saturdays from 9am to noon.
Haymond noted that not much money had to be spent on the project.
“It’s a big miracle for our community,” said Haymond. “This is one of our (Kiwanis) better deals in the last 10 years.”
Haymond said they were looking for other long-term ways to help the community with other projects.