Letter: Community organizations should not be compared to each other

Dear Editor,

This letter is written in response to the May 24, 2017, article regarding Danville’s proposed budget and Grace Café. 

Danville/Boyle County is fortunate to have many agencies, churches and other organizations that offer food and assistance to struggling individuals and families. Each organization has varying goals, operations and funding, however, all are dedicated to serving those who need a helping hand. Some projects have paid employees and some operate totally on non-paid volunteers. None of these endeavors should be criticized or compared to each other. 

I, personally, have been a non-paid volunteer for seven years for Backpack Kids and the New Hope Food Pantry. I have seen first-hand the time, energy and dedication that teams of volunteers give to fill food shelves in Boyle County kitchens and homes. 

I take offense in the above-mentioned article that the New Hope Food Pantry offers “leftovers, you get the stuff that’s about out of date, you get starches and sugars.” I would like to invite the author to work a day with me at the New Hope Food Pantry. My jobs include: checking the date of every food item donated before placing it on the shelf; throwing out perishable vegetables, fruit or bread that are not satisfactory; greeting clients with a smile, chatting together as we “shop;” organizing canned goods so that clients can see and then choose their selections; laughing with clients and volunteers creating a happy environment; and helping clients to their vehicle with a full grocery cart of food! We have no “leftovers.”

The New Hope Food Pantry receives $5,000 from the city for food items. There is no heat, A/C or running hot water in the facility because all monies received through the city and donations are spent on food for clients. Grace Café offers a healthy meal for an entire family in a beautiful setting. Backpack Kids provides food for 1-2 meals for a family. The New Hope Food Pantry provides a grocery cart of food for several meals for a family. How great are all of these opportunities!? These are only three out of so many outreach projects right here in Danville. 

Please consider visiting the New Hope Food Pantry during open hours to see our operation, or volunteer, or donate money or food items. Please help and support, recognize and appreciate any organizations that endeavor to make a difference in our community. Hours are: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Fridays 4-6 p.m. Thank you.

Nancy Robertson

Danville

Editor’s note: The quote referenced in this letter was made by a member of the public during public comments at a Danville City Commission meeting, not by the author of the article in which the quote appeared.