To the editor:
A small group of Lawrence citizens had a vision of one centralized food bank enabling smaller food pantries to more efficiently feed the hungry of Douglas County. As it was, each food pantry could not be guaranteed a sufficient amount of food.
This small group has worked with ECKAN to build Just Food. Through the work of this group, Just Food is now a redistribution organization for Harvesters; meaning all food and money Harvesters receives from Douglas County, now stays.
As Just Food is working to become sustainable, an important part is the partner pantries. To be a partner is an “ownership.” The Global Food Banking Network states that “a food bank is a community asset. If the local community does not engage with a sense of ownership, the food bank is destined to mediocrity or failure at worst. Failure is not an option.
As a partner with Just Food, Trinity Interfaith Food Pantry is able to serve those who come to us. All of Just Food’s work for its partners does not come without a cost. Pantries not a partner with Just Food do have access to all food donated in Douglas County. They have to organize, transport and store the food themselves. TIFP is proud to be a partner pantry.
The mission of Just Food is to coordinate efforts of community pantries to share and provide food for hungry families. I believe they are doing just that but they cannot do it alone.