Snow Angels food drive gets underway, program distributes food to seniors

SWBC employees from one department won the challenge of bringing in 223 pounds of nonperishable food items for the annual Snow Angels program. In total, SWBC collected 820 pounds of food to help with emergency food needs in the community.

SCOTTSBLUFF — Snow Angels, a program to distribute emergency food on a short-term basis, is underway for another season.

Every October since 2010, the Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center collects nonperishable food for delivery to persons enrolled in Meals on Wheels or the Home Delivered Commodities program.

Volunteer Center Director Shanna Halstead said that occasionally during the winter, the weather is bad enough that it isn’t safe to send out drivers for Meals on Wheels delivery.

“Last year was really bad because we had more snow days than we’ve had in years,” she said.

Nonperishable food items are being collected until Nov. 1. Volunteers then collect the food, sort out what they have and pack bags for delivery.

On Nov. 13-15, Snow Angels volunteers deliver emergency food bags so people will have food on hand until the weather improves and regular daily delivery can resume. Last year, volunteers packed 150 food bags for the program.

Some emergency food bags are also kept at the United Way offices because they also get calls from those who need food right away.

“People are grateful to have some emergency food available,” Halstead said. “They’re grateful for the support of the community because many of these people don’t have a lot of disposable income for food.”

Just a few of the items that can go into the emergency food bags include canned soups, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese cups, ramen noodles, canned pasta, canned vegetables, crackers, oatmeal packets and more.

While the official food collection campaign is during the month of October, one Scottsbluff company made an early start of it.

Ann Isabell, manager of customer service for SWBC, said the company’s community involvement committee met last year and decided to support the Snow Angels program.

“Our company believes in investing in the communities where we live and work,” Isabell said. “This is the first year we’ve supported Snow Angels because they serve a real need in the community when we have weather issues. We’ve had our fair share of bad weather recently.”

Each department at the SWBC office accepted a friendly challenge to see which of them could collect the most nonperishable food for Snow Angels.

When the food was collected last week, a total of 820 pounds had been brought in by SWBC employees. The winning department had donated 223 pounds of that total.

“It was neat to see everyone come together to compete for a good cause,” Isabell said. “I’m pleased to be a part of such a supportive company.”

On Oct. 3, Panhandle Auto Group at 1906 E. 20th Place in Scottsbluff is hosting a freewill lunch, serving sandwiches from Arby’s from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring a nonperishable food donation to help the cause.

Call the Scotts Bluff County Volunteer Center at 308-632-3736 for more information or to donate.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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