The Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Central Virginia Foodbank teamed up again this past Saturday for the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry. We’ve been doing this monthly event for over a year now, bringing groceries to Southern Barton Heights for the benefit of our community. Members of the Wingnut facilitate the program, but folks from the neighborhood participate in the actual distribution. We’ve been working on how the program functions as well.
We had 200 people signed up for vouchers. The total number of members of households in Southern Barton Heights who benefit from this grocery distribution are below.
Total: 549 people of which 278 were Adults, 226 were children, and 45 were seniors
The next Mobile Food Pantry will be in January on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 1pm. This event happens at North Avenue and West Graham in the raised parking lot next to the Goal Post restaurant. We can always use help setting up starting at 12. We have a list of addresses of folks who have vouchers, and also a waiting list for folks in the area we will get vouchers to if/when we can.
Here is a letter we handed out at this past event:
A little over a year ago the Wingnut decided to partner up with the food bank to make the mobile food pantry happen in Southern Barton Heights. It’s gone on for over a year now, and while it’s been good in some ways, it’s also had problems.
One of the big problems for us is that we’re anarchist activists, and we don’t really have any experience running a program like this and we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. People who were supposed to get vouchers didn’t, people who shouldn’t have gotten vouchers have them. There’s been a good deal of miscommunication about how this is supposed to work and so on. This stuff is our fault, and we;re sorry that any of y’all haven’t gotten what you expected or deserved out of it.
How the Food Pantry Works:
The food bank sends a truck out to our neighborhood, and they know that they have enough space in the truck to provide 200 servings of food.
These vouchers are promises to you that if you show up anytime before we start handing stuff out to the folks that are in the non-voucher line you’ll get food. If you don’t have a voucher, you can still get food if there is stuff left after the first 200 meals (there usually is). We’re not going to do paper vouchers at all anymore, but we’re just going to rely on what’s on the list. If you are not on the voucher list, we’re restarting the waiting list as of today.
Changes we’re making:
1. People who are in Southern Barton Heights are the only ones who are going to get vouchers from here on out.
2. If you can’t make it to the food pantry 2 times in a row, you get dropped from the voucher list, but you’ll be able to get back in the waiting list if you want.
3. The waiting list is getting restarted today (December 10th 2011), if you were on any previous waiting list you need to sign up again.
4. From now on, it’s going to be one trip through the line per voucher. If you have 2 cvouchers because you sre picking up for a firend or whatever, you’re going to need to go through the line twice. This is kind of a pain, but we’ve had a lot of problems with this in the past.
Stuff that we’d like to see:
1. More community control over how the food pantry runs
2. All of the vouchers going to folks that live in the immediate area
3. Better communication from the folks running it to everyone else
Please come talk to us if you have any ideas for how to make this thing run berrer, or if you want to get involved with running it!