BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL – The Bountiful Community Food Pantry is adding a hallway for patrons who want to stay out of the cold, heat or rain.
Thanks to a grant, it should be complete within the next six months, said Pantry Executive Director Lorna Koci.
“We are sensitive to this. We don’t like them out in the cold,” she emphasized.
Koci was responding in part to an anonymous phone call received by the Davis Clipper from a disgruntled patron.
“Making them wait outside is an inhumane thing to do,” the South Davis resident said, adding, “They wait because they are in dire need of food for their families.”
The woman claimed people have to wait “a good half an hour.”
“Other than for a few senior citizens and disabled, we have no room for people to wait” inside the pantry customer service area, Koci said.
The pantry routinely provides that space for those seniors and disabled needing it, she emphasized.
About 1,500 square feet will be carved out of the warehouse Р space she hates to relinquish because it’s already crowded serving its intended purpose.
Koci listed some ways people can minimize their wait time:
Ґ Thursdays and Fridays tend to be less busy.
Ґ People can also come into the pantry to get a number and then wait in their vehicles.
Ґ There is no need to come early, before the pantry opens. There is always enough food.
The pantry hours are: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, 6-8 p.m.
“We are one of the few pantries in the state that is open evenings and on Saturdays,” Koci said.
She said the quantity of food patrons receive is more than double that recommended by the Feeding America suggested minimum. In addition, people can come once a week for food Р more than is typically allowed at other pantries.
Food provided ranges from pasta and peanut butter to meat and fruits and vegetables.
Between 500 and 600 households are assisted with food requests each month, equating to between 1,500 and 1,800 people. That’s down from the peak of two years ago but slightly above 2012 levels, Koci said.
Donations are vital to keeping the nonprofit, almost totally volunteer-run pantry operating. Those can be made online at bountifulfoodpantry.org, or by writing or visiting 480 E. 150 North, Bountiful, UT 84010.