Lord’s Storehouse continues to receive generous donations
Due to the generosity of local residents, the ongoing support from the Feed America program, the Casper Food Bank, First Lady Jenny Gordon’s Hunger Initiative and a generous donation of 250 turkeys from the Ogden, Utah, Latter-Day-Saints Storehouse, the holidays were made brighter for local families.
Lord’s Storehouse food bank Director Kay Rossiter said, at Thanksgiving, entire meals were provided for 335 families and 10,050 pounds of food were distributed. During the month of December, 30,472 pounds of food were distributed to 757 families.
“I think the earlier article in the Herald reminded people of the food bank’s needs and they responded with more donations,” Rossiter said. “We got a donation of a lot of hams for Christmas to give to over 200 families.”
The Lord’s Storehouse is located at the back of Trinity Lutheran Church at 50 Yellow Creek Road. The facility was expanded several years ago with a drive-up where volunteers will bring a box of food to the recipient’s vehicle. The food bank has four separate rooms for storing commodities and canned items; eight refrigerators and fifteen freezers store donated meat and other products.
Volunteer Steve Stonebraker is the inventory expert for the food bank and keeps track of all items. Rossiter said they have to plan for the future as they recognize the need will continually rise as inflation affects more and more people financially.
“The food bank would not exist without our 22 volunteers,” Rossiter said. “Currently, we have two LDS missionaries who are dong their service at the food bank and they are nice strong young men who help us a lot. Local youth who are doing community service also help out. One young woman who completed her community service still comes because she enjoyed it so much.”
Rossiter said the duties and responsibilities of the volunteers are to help with unloading of food donations, cleaning and stocking the pantry shelves and putting food items away. She said they do meal planning inventory and load the boxes to go out to patrons. All boxes of food are weighed so that each recipient gets the same amount of food, which is usually around 20-30 pounds in each box, depending on what is available, Rossiter said.
“The city crew comes with their forklift and helps us with unloading when we get the big truck loads from the major donors like the Wyoming Food Bank,” volunteer Stonebraker said. “Toni Walworth is the longtime loyal volunteer who works hard to keep the volunteers organized and things running smoothly,” he added, pointing to Walworth who was busy loading boxes and directing the other volunteers.
Stonebraker indicated a chart on the wall of the storehouse facility where he had written statistics on the amount of food distributed by the year. In the year 2021, the Lord’s Storehouse food bank distributed 265,376 pounds of food to 6,803 families. The year 2022 saw a significant increase in the number of families receiving boxes of food, up to 9,033. The amount of food decreased down to 227,557 pounds due to availability. Stonebraker said he thinks the increase in the number of families is due to inflation in the country.
As the Lord’s Storehouse director, Rossiter is responsible for all of the paperwork, budgeting, audits, 990 tax returns, and regular reports to the major donors.
“I am eternally grateful to all the volunteers,” Rossiter said. “Without them we couldn’t do what we do. The food bank would not exist without their help.”