The following is taken from Page 2, of the Boone County Journal, which is available free of costs at merchants across the county and on line at: http://www.boonecountyjournal.com/news/2012/Boone-County-News-01-20-12.pdf#page=1
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Recently there have been many rumors regarding our pantry and the clients we serve. I have decided to write this editorial to set the record straight regarding the people we
serve, what geographical area we serve, and what guidelines we follow.
We receive USDA foods each month and in order to receive food products from this agency, we must follow their guidelines. The monthly income allowed by the USDA for a one person household is $1,180.00. For each
additional household member, we add $414.00. Each client signs a signature sheet that is sent into USDA at the end of
each month. This signature sheet states that anyone who gives false information regarding they income, there is a $25,000.00 fine and up to 5 years in jail and each client is informed of this information before they sign the signature
sheet. Each client is screened every time they visit the pantry and they are entered into a client data program where their file is updated each time they visit our agency.
Regarding the geographical location of our clients, we serve all of Boone County. When someone arrives at our facility, they must provide us with proof of residency. To do this, they bring in two pieces of mail that come to their home (such as a utility bill) with a recent date. They must also bring in a picture ID proving they are who they say they are. Each new client gives us the names and birth dates
of everyone in their household as well as any income that the household receives each month. This income should include child support, unemployment benefits, disability,
social security, and the amount of each family member’s paycheck.
There has been some concern that some of our clients drive up in a nice vehicle or they dress nice. Just to set the record straight, we have volunteers who pick up clients and bring them to the pantry. Many of our clients receive
transportation assistance from friends, neighbors, or family members. In some cases, people lend our clients their vehicle for a few hours to pick up food, non-food products,
clothes, etc. from our facility. Some of our clients have had good paying jobs but have been laid off, their unemployment benefits have run out, and they are forced to come to our pantry to feed their family. These nice cars are the same cars they had when they were gainfully employed. Let’s face it…..how many of us are just a paycheck away from needing
assistance from a food pantry.
It is my hope that this editorial will set the record straight once and for all. If anyone has any doubts about what we do here at the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry or about
the people we serve, I would ask you to take a tour of our facility and spend some time here when we distribute food.
Linda Clark, Executive Director