The North Platte Natural Resources District, NPNRD, delivered 7,850 lbs. of food to the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska, CAPWN, food pantry in Gering on Thursday, Dec. 14.
The week-long food drive was the brainchild of Barb Cross, assistant director of the NPNRD.
“She (Cross) came here from the USDA, where she had done food drives for CAPWN before. We talked about putting together a food drive of our very own,” said John Berge director at the North Platte NRD. “We’re also doing this in conjunction with the soft announcement of our greenhouse, which will ultimately grow food where the proceeds will be given to the CAPWN food bank and the Veterans home.”
The greenhouse will be geothermal and house, citrus trees to vegetables and more, with construction to begin in the spring.
The NPNRD opened up the food drive to the community and its employees. Cross also contacted area farmer cooperatives and farm production companies for donations.
Among the donations were dry edible beans, predominately the great northern and pinto variety grown in the western Nebraska.
“They are very nutritious when it comes to protein, fiber and lots of micro-nutrients in the diet,” said Courtney Schuler, area field representative for Trinidad-Benham Corp. “They are good for food pantries, because they have a long shelf life and can be integrated in a variety of foods from soups to breads, they are just very versatile.”
The CAPWN food pantry serves about 2,000 people a year, which includes families and individuals.
“The majority of people we serve, use our food pantry and this food will be a great addition to our pantry,” said Sarah Ochoa, CAPWN director of Child Development. “We appreciate all donations, not just during this time of year, but all year round.”
Local businesses contributing to the donation was Walther Farms with a donation of 500 lbs. of potatoes; Kelley Bean, 2,500 lbs. of dry edible beans; Trinidad-Benham Corporation, 2,000 lbs. of dry edible beans; New Alliance & Grain Company, 1,000 lbs. of dry edible beans; Western Sugar with 200 lbs of sugar and the NPNRD donated 1,650 lbs of food and dry edible beans from employees and individuals.
CAPWN welcomes donations to the food pantry at anytime during the year. For more information, contact CAPWN at 308-635-3089.