Siskiyou Food Assistance Provides Quality Food to Siskiyou County
By Skylar Sky Evans 2/22/2023
Siskiyou Food Assistance has been opening its weekly pantry since 2001. Would you like to help? Plant a row of veggies in your garden this spring for our community in need.
Denise Hopkins has been volunteering since the program launched. “My cousin, our Pastor, Jerry Broomfield started it at the Wayside Church of God in Christ as a Food Bank in 1986. It grew so quickly we had to change locations.”
SFA’s headquarters is now in the old Weed Elementary School’s band, art, and home ec room. With the school in need of the building, SFA is looking for a new location for the weekly program.
Siskiyou Food Assistance operates on food donations from a variety of businesses and monetary donations from the public to get bags of fresh produce, sprouted grains and grass-fed meats into the homes of residents in South County. Serving Gazelle, Big Springs and south to Castella.
Denise Spayd started off as a volunteer, then board member and worked her way to Executive Director. “I was a registered nurse in Redding for thirteen years. After retiring I wanted to use my background to help my community. I decided that community nutrition was the answer.”
“I am amazed at how many people don’t know about our program,” Spayd says. In addition to high quality food donations, SFA offers the community a 20-rack food dehydrator within its facility as well as promotes Siskiyou Community Resource Collaborative classes in canning produce and nutritional cooking.
“With monetary donations from our supporters we have the opportunity to purchase fresh produce from Siskiyou County’s local farms,” says Spayd. Last year SFA developed business relationships with local producers Marble Mountain Farm near Happy Camp, Heart Felt Farm in Fort Jones, Cornerstone Farm in Gazelle, Mountain View Organics in Grenada, and Shasta Mountain Aquaponics in Mt. Shasta. If you are a local farm that is interested in partnering with SFA email firstname.lastname@example.org
When asked how our community help Siskiyou Food Assistance can, Spayd responded, “Plant a row of veggies for your community this year. Planting a row of vegetables that you plan to donate will help a lot!”
SFA offers a delivery option as well. To get involved in the program you will need to show identification and go through a phone or in person interview. If interested call 530-408-6115.
Wouldn’t it be Nice
Skylar Sky Evans 2/6/2023
There is a building on Main Street in Weed, California that was once a mercantile store. At the entrance to the building above in black lettering showcases what was once inside. An ice cream parlor, art and craft supply store with clothing apparel and toys. The mercantile store was once the location to the Weed Revitalization Coalition and Community Resource Center. I am told the building is now being used for Mill Fire donations that will be given to families that have been displaced by the fire. What was once a store that catered to the vibrancy of Weed’s local community is now a space filled with clothing and home necessities eagerly waiting to be picked up by people in need. There is plenty of donations to choose from and although its services are needed the building seems to only have a few people through the day skimming through racks, boxes and crates.
Next to the mercantile store is a restaurant with the best Vietnamese Pho soup I have ever tasted. It must be the homemade bone marrow broth that makes it so good. On the other side of the mercantile store is a dance studio. As of now the dance studio is being used for more donated items to Mill Fire survivors. I was told that an additional “16 totes” would be coming in this Thursday.
But, there is talk that the dance studio is coming back! I have heard that the dance studio will be cleaned and ready for dance classes by mid-February. Wouldn’t it be nice!