The reason for the delay is simply that the food just won’t arrive by the initial date.
“That happens sometimes,” said Jackie Westfield, program administrator for CSA. “It’s just due to shipping.”
The new date for the next commodity distribution will be just a week later.
Clients who had appointments on the 24th should keep the same appointment times on the 31st.
But there will be many more opportunities for folks to sign up for a commodity distribution.
“Unlike most counties, we have a commodity distribution every other month,” Westfield said. “Six times a year. Many other county agencies only have a distribution quarterly.”
Westfield confirms CSA has a higher number of commodity distributions “because there’s a need. We try to do as much as we can to help the community.”
If people want to receive a commodity distribution, and they do not have the current Red card required, they should contact the CSA office to be certified. A new card will be issued.
The following household categories are eligible to receive the commodities:
- Food Stamp recipient
- Families First (Former AFDC Program) recipients
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipients
- Income not exceeding the poverty guidelines
- Public Housing
- LIEAP (Low Income energy assistance Program) recipients
To prove clients meet the criteria, they can use any one of the following documents:
- Food Stamps — A Letter of Approval; Identification Card or Insert Card that comes from Stamps
- Families First — A Letter of Approval or a Families First Identification Card
- SSI — A Letter of Approval or a Letter from Social Security
- Low-Income Households — Income Information
- Public Housing — Address Identification
However, if a person is picking up the commodities for someone else, that person must bring a note from the original recipient giving the OK to pick up that person’s commodities, or, that person must bring the recipients’ eligibility documentation.
According to Westfield, everyone picking up groceries should bring two bags with them because every eligible household receives a predetermined amount of each food item, as long as the items are available.
“It’s usually never the same items twice (in back-to-back commodity distributions),” Westfield said. But some of the usual items include such food as dry produce, including nuts, English walnuts, potato flakes, dry lentils, as well as canned products, such as canned pork, chicken and veggies, including green beans, corn, black-eyed peas. Also often available is canned orange, apple or grapefruit juice, as well as canned peaches and pears. “From time to time, even peanut butter is available.”
Westfield wants to remind current and/or potential recipients, however, that misrepresentation of need, or sale or exchanges of USDA Commodities are prohibited and could result in a fine, imprisonment or both.
For those unfamiliar with the commodity distribution income guidelines, at least until Sept. 30, they follow here:
- A one-person household can make up to $16,755 per year or $1,396 per month.
- A two-person household can make up to $22,695 per year or $1,891 per month.
- A three-person household can make up to $28,635 per year or $2,386 per month.
- A four-person household can make up to $34,575 per year or $2,881 per month.
- A five-person household can make up to $40,515 per year or $3,376 per month.
- A six-person household can make up to $46,455 per year or $3,871 per month.
- A seven-person household can make up to $52,395 per year or $4,366 per month.
- An eight-person household can make up to $58,335 per year or $4,861 per month.
For households with larger numbers, add $5,940 more per year or $495 per month for each additional member of the household.
If a household doesn’t qualify or cannot get certified by the date of the distribution, Westfield does recommend that other local food banks are available to help out until the next CSA commodity distribution.
“If people don’t have a Red card and want to be eligible (for this month’s commodity distribution),” Westfield said, “just stop into the CSA and get an application and get certified. We don’t ever stop taking applications. People (who come in the morning of the 31st) without a card and haven’t certified can come back in the afternoon (after certifying that morning).
For more information, call 479-4111 or stop by the CSA offices at 155 6th St., S.E.