Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mobile food pantry delivers

DSC_6688e

FOOD BANK VOLUNTEER Tucker Sproull, 16, of Rescue, right, hands grocery items to Food Bank board member Doc League, of Pollock Pines, for delivery to a person in need. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page A1 | May 27, 2013 | 5 Comments

Hoping to reach even more people, and especially seniors, the Food Bank of El Dorado County has launched a new mobile food truck program that delivers groceries to those most in need.

Started two months ago, so far the mobile food truck has made stops in El Dorado Hills, South Lake Tahoe and Pollock Pines with people learning about it through the more than 30 charities the Food Bank partners with.

On Wednesday, they set up shop in the parking lot of the Veterans Memorial Building in Placerville. Waiting patiently for groceries was a large contingent of people. Many of them were families with young children. But there were also working-age people and senior citizens, some in wheelchairs and others using walkers.

Mike Sproull, founder and executive director of the Food Bank of El Dorado County, was there to help give out groceries. He said they probably fed 150 families which, by his calculation, translates to 450 individuals. At South Lake Tahoe he said they fed 130 families and in Pollock Pines and El Dorado Hills they fed 75 families each.

Sproull said one of the biggest reasons behind the mobile pantry is to improve the diet of senior citizens through outreach.

“The Food Bank has plenty of canned goods and nonperishables,” he said, “but we want to get more produce and perishable items to people so they eat a healthier diet. Canned food drives are good but we need financial donations so we can buy perishables. We’re trying to give a full spectrum of food that people can use to make meals.”

Sproull said the Food Bank visits 12 different grocery stores every day and is very grateful for the short coded food they receive, but produce is harder to come by because stores are reluctant to give it away due to potential health concerns.

As a result, many of the items they gave away on Wednesday were actually purchased from the California Association of Food Banks “Farm to Family Program” and the California Emergency Food Link at a cost of only six to 10 cents a pound. Those items included milk, juice, pastry, bread and produce.

“We’re the most efficient charity in the county,” claimed Sproull. “People get a five to one bang for their (charitable) buck. We have a budget of a half million a year and are able to distribute $3 million worth of food a year through our hundreds of volunteers and the network of charities we work with.”

Sproull said they have seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of people requesting food assistance.

“A lot of families and a ton of senior citizens live on under $1,200 a month,” he said. “Seniors are caught in a real bind because they don’t have a lot of options. As the economy has faltered, some people have been able to cut back. But many people have no room to cut back.”

Hoping to give their new program a higher profile as they roll it out, Sproull said they will be at the upcoming Summer Spectacular in Cameron Park and will also respond to some emergencies until the Red Cross arrives. ”It’s a tool for the community in that way too,” he said, noting that he was looking for groups and businesses that want to sponsor the mobile pantry as well as staff it.

Sproull said a lot of people in the county don’t understand that there are areas of extreme poverty in the county, even in affluent areas like El Dorado Hills.

“It breaks my heart the things I hear,” Sproull said. “When the economy faltered, people cut their budget. But some have nowhere to go. They can’t make any more cuts. Can’t go to the grocery store. Can’t buy produce because it’s too expensive. The people we serve had already cut back. I want more people to have a look at hunger in El Dorado County because there are tons of people living in poverty and hunger.”

Since they are still testing the program, Sproull said there is no set schedule for when the mobile pantry will be in a particular community. So for updates, people should check with their local food closet or the Food Bank of El Dorado County at 530-621-9950. 

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

  • Carlos SanchezMay 28, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    They have these in the Mid West with great success.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • thomasMay 29, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    Mike Sproull remarks in this story that "they need financial donations so we can buy perishables" If this is the case then why is donors money being spent on fancy painted trailers and new buildings when it needs to be used to help the people in the way of food? This is confusing

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Kirk W MacKenzieMay 29, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Thomas -- As I understand it, the trailer (and the truck used to haul it around) were bought with grant money targeting these capital investments.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Carlos SanchezMay 29, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    In the Mid West each state has a large Food Bank Distribution network that receives food donations from all over the state and then redistributes that to smaller Food Pantries through out the state. I am not sure how that works here in California though.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SusanJune 05, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    Until this organization takes a serious look at its management and improves it I will not be contributing to them any longer no matter how many times they send me a letter

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Heard over the back fence: Advice offered writers

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Big marijuana find in EDH

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Jury: Sanford guilty of murder

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Initiative seeks roundabout vote

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Sheriff cracking down on Tahoe pot grows

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3

 
Burn permits required May 1

By Cal Fire | From Page: A7

County backs task force to reduce human trafficking

By Chris Daley | From Page: A13

 
5 years prison for child porn

By News Release | From Page: A14

A victim tells her story

By Chris Daley | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
Income inequality

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Billingsley’s Bullets: Marriage makes me laugh

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

What happened to ‘fair and balanced?’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 14 Comments

 
Red tape

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Is Ukraine in Asia, Europe or Latin America?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

 
Vote for Parlin

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

County and ‘Miwoks’ getting together

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Ray Nutting’s donation for DA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

.

Sports

 
Brown leads Golden Sierra

By Rebecca Reddish | From Page: A9

Cougars 1, Grizzlies 1

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9

 
Cougars capitalize against Union Mine

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Troy unpends Davis

By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
El Dorado wins tri-meet

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

D’backs drop the ‘Hammer’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9

 
El Dorado spikers blank D’backs

By Mike Bush | From Page: A10

Roundup: April 23, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
On tap

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

.

Prospecting

Amazing production brings the curtain down for Pete Miller

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Cool Beerwerks is very cool

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Placerville celebrates Earth Day

By News Release | From Page: B3

Handcar Derby to get pumping

By Folsom Handcar Derby | From Page: B3

 
IT presents a Reader’s Theater of ‘Our Town’

By Imagination Theater | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Enjoy spring with Steiner Road wineries

By Steiner Road Wineries | From Page: B4

 
Art and brew are a perfect pair

By News Release | From Page: B5

Spring cleaning is good

Press Release | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Pinewood Derby rolls at Kniesel’s

Press Release | From Page: B6

The Sacramento Music Festival celebrates world-class music

By Sacramento Music Festival | From Page: B12

 
Oak Ridge Boys come to TJ’s Corral

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B13

Folsom hosts Spring Antique Fair

By Folsom Historic District Association | From Page: B13

 
Viviana Guzman performs at Petroglyphe Gallery

By Petroglyphe Gallery | From Page: B13

Pioneer Jews of the Gold rush

By Folsom History | From Page: B14, 1 Comment

 
Time to join the El Dorado Community Concert Association

By El Dorado Community Concert Association | From Page: B14

.

Essentials

.

Obituaries

Frances Estelle Gilluly Fraulob

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Dorothy L. Irvin

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jeanine Rae Henderson-Hodges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Thomas David Ewing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

John Lawrence Olson

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jack O’Camb

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wesley M. Nyquist

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20

 
.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A11

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A11

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A11

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A12

Horoscope, Saturday, April 26, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A12

 
.

Home Source

Spring statistics suggest slower sales

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Time to spring outdoors and fix them up

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS7

Nation’s existing home sales remain soft

Press Release | From Page: HS20