We were heartened recently to receive information from Lindy Vincent, Outreach Coordinator for the St. Christopher’s Satellite Food Program, regarding work to address need right here in the Steamboat area. “The year of 2011 was very busy and we found many families moving away, finding part-time jobs and more families taking their place in our outreach program,” Lindy writes.
“What started as a Food Bank Satellite program in 2007 has slowly expanded and evolved into much more than just food for our Steamboat Island community. As our church family, as well as others from the Griffin Neighborhood Association, heard about the needs of their neighbors on the Steamboat peninsula, they have generously opened up their hearts and their donations – and amazingly always at the times that needed that particular assistance – household items, cash donations or clothes.”
Residents can be forgiven for imagining St. Christopher’s Food Bank Satellite program is just about food. It is so much more.
The program distributes 3 to 5 gas cards a month of $40 each to people who are going to doctor’s appointments, hospital or job interviews. Lindy carefully monitors these and sometimes even meets her clients at the Island Market’s Chevron station to assure that the gas cards are being used appropriately.
Emergency power assistance has been provided in the form of aid to pay electric bills. Lindy’s program has even been able to obtain emergency supplies of firewood.
Grocery Outlet gift cards for items that aren’t covered by food stamps such as paper products, laundry soap, etc.
Household items including housewares, furniture, clothing, and even donated washer and drier sets.
“A clothes give-away tradition started by [Griffin Fire District Commissioner Meredith Hutchins] last year is being continued this month. Many bags of very nice clothes have been left at my food bank closet during the month of December.”
The Steamboat Animal Hospital has made donations to assist families to care for their pets. “A big round of applause to Steamboat Vet Hospital and to those companies that have assisted our community that we don’t even know about!”
Rental assistance to avoid eviction and scholarships to Camp Michael are among the services provided to local residents in 2011.
Lindy’s program provides important referral services to local assistance. Energy assistance agencies, referrals to the Housing Authority, help in dealing with the Social Security Administration – even driving residents to local offices to apply for assistance – are within the scope of activities.
In December, the St. Christopher’s congregation purchased and wrapped a record 81 gifts for 20 children and 7 adults.
Food remains an important need. 1,344 individuals were assisted with food in 2011. The program services about 26 adults and 30 children twice monthly. “The families change but the number seems to stay consistent.”
It is very gratifying to learn of the scope of the activities of the St. Christopher’s Satellite Food Program. If you can make a donation to assist families in need in the Steamboat Island area, please call the St. Christopher Church at 866-2111 to leave a message for Lindy Vincent.