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Lending A Hand

Program Provides Food For Local Communities

More than 1,000 boxes of food were distributed Saturday at Healing World Ministries in Jamestown. The food is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Farmers to Families program. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

It took about an hour for church officials and a horde of volunteers to distribute more than a thousand boxes of food from Healing World Ministries in Jamestown.

The same went for a distribution from The Outpour Project in Dunkirk.

For the second Saturday this month, fresh meat, produce and dairy products were made available to area residents as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmer to Families program. The $4 billion program involves the federal government purchasing food from producers hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and transporting it to local communities for distribution.

The USDA has approved contracts to suppliers for meat, produce and dairy packaging and distribution to food banks, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and churches.

Locally, the food is being handed out in a drive-through fashion – first-come, first-serve – on Saturdays this month at 10 a.m. from The Outpour Project at 61 E. Fourth St. in Dunkirk and at 1 p.m. from Healing World Ministries at 1006 W. Third St. in Jamestown.

There are no requirements to be eligible for the food. One box is available per family per distribution.

On Saturday in the city, pallets of boxes were brought outside while a team of volunteers loaded the items as vehicles drove up. In all, just over 1,090 boxes were given out, with members of the Jamestown Police Department among those lending a hand. During the first distribution Oct. 3, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist came by to help.

The New York School of Urban Ministry partnered with CityServe to distribute the boxes of food in communities in upstate New York. CityServe, a California-based ministry, has a collaborative network of churches who are connected to help their communities.

The Outpour Project in Dunkirk and Healing Word Ministries in Jamestown are the hubs for the food distribution in Chautauqua County. Both ministries were contacted by NYSUM to become the hubs.

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