Due to a large increase in the number of clients in need of food over the last year, the United Way of Suwannee Valley opened the Food Bank of Suwannee Valley to give agencies and church food pantries better access to food to fill their food pantries. The Food Bank is a local subsidiary distribution organization of Lutheran Social Services Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Florida, an affiliate of America's Second Harvest.

Catholic Charities provides the day-to-day operation of the food bank and will assume its operation at the conclusion of the period funded by a grant secured by United Way of Suwannee Valley.

"Sometimes agencies and churches do not have funds available to assist clients with a utility bill or a crisis expense. But they always have food. By saving some of the money a family would spend at the grocery store, they might be able to pay the unexpected expense themselves," said Suzanne Edwards of Catholic Charities. Clients should bring a picture I.D. and Social Security card for all members of the family.

In Jasper, local churches and agencies are working together to provide food for the needy every week of the month. Harvest Fellowship Church, 407 Hatley St., has reestablished their food program and is distributing food every Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon.

The Catholic Charities FAITHH Mobile visits Jasper the first Thursday of every month 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located at the Hamilton County Council on Aging, 1509 SW 1st Street.

New Bethel AME, 604 S 6th Avenue, is also providing food. Call 792-2323 for the date and time or check the Jasper News for their announcements.

The Suwannee River Economic Council will hold their USDA distribution July 27 and July 28.

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