Opening in summer 2016, the Food Finders Food Bank Food Resource & Education Center (FREC) will align Food Finders as a food bank of the future. With our new location and resources, FFFB staff and volunteers will be equipped to address the root causes of food insecurity by offering an onsite community food pantry, demonstration kitchen with classroom space for nutrition education programs, as well as resource coordination for our pantry clients. Simply distributing food is no longer enough, the FREC is designed to assist our clients on a path towards food security and self-sufficiency. More than a meal, the FREC will offer hope to struggling families and individuals. By establishing our new Food Resource & Education Center on a bus route easily accessed by our clients, Food Finders is now poised to offer new, highly collaborative programs that not only provide food assistance but create long-term, integrated support for families.
Nutrition Education – Our new nutrition education programs will provide ongoing education on such topics as including meal preparation, budgeting and wise shopping to maximize SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and all available food resources.
Referral Services – Food is typically the first resource families look for in times of crisis. Our on-site food pantry and programming will give all social-service organizations access to a large pipeline of at-risk clients. This will allow us to strengthen our community’s referral system, build stronger relationships between service providers and reduce service redundancies.
SNAP Assistance Services – SNAP is the single largest public-assistance program available to most food-insecure families. With a more central location, Food Finders will be able to offer ongoing SNAP assistance for families struggling to complete the program’s lengthy application.
J.P. Lisack Community Food Pantry – Currently, very few pantries offer evening and weekend hours in the Lafayette area, yet our data proves that the majority of clients we serve and are often unable to utilize food resources only offered during a typical work day. Food Finders on-site food pantry will focus on serving the working-poor population with evening and weekend hours in an accessible location.
Our new nutrition education programs are geared to provide ongoing education to the community on healthy lifestyle topics such as healthy meal preparation, budgeting, wise shopping, basic cooking skills and nutrition education, healthcare navigation, smoking cessation and much more! Volunteers, businesses and community organizations are partnering with the food bank to host these classes. If you would like to know more or you are interested in volunteering, please contact Abby Agee.