PAYETTE — Behind the locked doors of the Payette Senior Center, the center’s community food bank continues to provide for the community. Director Kathy Patrick’s food bank team continues to crank out box after box of food for those in the community in need of assistance due to the ongoing pandemic, as well as to-go meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In an email on Nov. 23, Patrick stated that she was taken aback by the need for help in this community.
“The Payette Senior Center started doing food boxes for people suffering from food insecurities the last week of March,” wrote Patrick. “I had no idea how many people needed help in our area until I started doing this. We provided 562 boxes of food in October. Even though we are closed to the public, we are still offering this service.”
In addition to giving help with food, donations by families of students at Treasure Valley Classical Academy are being disbursed to recipients of food assistance in the form of gift bags filled with items including greeting cards, written letters, gloves and socks, candies and snacks, games and books, and so on. The donations are part of the academy’s second annual “Operation: Holiday Express,” the school’s holiday service project.
The newspaper visited the senior center behind the scenes that same day to learn about the gift giving effort.
“What they did is they put a flyer up at school and the kids took it home to their parents and then they provided all of this,” said Patrick. “Every one of these has got something for everybody.”
Patrick estimated the cost to buy the items, which were donated, at $1,000.
Patrick praised the efforts of those involved at the academy.
“They’re really outdone themselves,” said Patrick, noting the academy specifically selected the senior center as this year’s chosen charity. “Last year they did it for the veterans and this year they did it for our seniors … It’s a phenomenal school.”
The gift bags will be distributed to food recipients on Dec. 16.