Boxes, cans and bags of no-perishable food covered the tables at Southwest Community Action Group on Carver Road this week while volunteers from Whataburger helped sort, clean and paint the hub of SOCAG’s Community Cupboard.
While Whataburger on North Main is being remodeled, employees have been asked to spend the hours they would normally be working volunteering at various community organizations throughout Altus. Fox Building Supply donated painting supplies for the volunteers to use.
“Not many companies would give us the opportunity to volunteer in our community during a remodel,” Whataburger employee Decovin Robinson said.
Their help has not gone unappreciated. Community Services Program Manager Glenda Crouch calls them a big help to the organization that operates solely on donations and volunteer hours.
“We get donations from Walmart, the commissary, scout troops and churches from around the community,” Crouch said. “We always give good, fresh food and never give anyone anything we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves.”
The Community Cupboard gives out emergency food baskets that contain enough food to last about a week. According to Crouch, they try to put frozen meat, fresh produce, canned meat, soup and vegetables in every basket, along with miscellaneous items such as crackers, cereal, juice, dry beans and hygiene products when they have them available.
“The deal is, we give away everything that’s donated,” Crouch said. “We have groups call and ask us what we need, and we ask for things like toothpaste and diapers, and other hygiene products, and it all goes out to the community.”
Crouch said she is strict about the rules of the Community Cupboard — all of the donations make it to those who really need it, and not one item is consumed by volunteers, workers or guests.
“I’m a rule-follower,” Crouch said. “Because we run on community support, it’s important that it all goes back to the community.”
Those eligible for a food basket are those who have a food voucher from either a church in Jackson County or the Department of Human Services. That and a form of identification for each individual in the household make an individual eligible for an emergency food basket.
Two food drives provide a large amount of the food at the Community Cupboard. The first is the postal pickup and Harvest for the Hungry — coming up in November before Thanksgiving.
“This is really a community effort,” Crouch said. “Seeing volunteers come to repaint our cupboard and give their time proves that.”
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.