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August 6, 2008 > School uniform give away at Milpitas Food Pantry

School uniform give away at Milpitas Food Pantry

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Susan Lang

On Saturday, August 16 Milpitas Food Pantry will have a school uniform give away. Used and new school uniforms can be donated to the pantry by this date for Milpitas families in need. "This event will be an opportunity to exchange their too small uniforms for some in the right size. To that end, we are asking the community to donate uniforms, in good condition" said Susan Lang, Director, Milpitas Food Pantry.

A volunteer organization, Milpitas Food Pantry is an emergency food assistance organization for low or fixed income households. Milpitas Clothes Closet, co-located with the Milpitas Food Pantry, provides clothing to anyone in need, free of charge. Entire clothing donations come from the community. Lang said "We are an emergency food box program that distributes food to low, very low and no income residents of Milpitas and Alviso." Emergency food is defined as a four-day supply once every 28 days. Exceptions are made on the recommendations of Social Services, local schools and clergy. "The food pantry serves approximately 300 households composed of about 900 individuals every month. Families range in size from 1 to 12. Our services are also available to the homeless population. During the holiday season we provide over 300 special food boxes at Thanksgiving" said Lang.

Milpitas Food Pantry is part of the Second Harvest Food Bank network and follows their eligibility guidelines as well as those of the city of Milpitas. "The guidelines we use are the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and CDBG (Community Development Block Grant Program) income guidelines. Our clients must live in Milpitas or Alviso. They are required to provide proof of residency and present ID at each visit. We can serve people who do not meet USDA guidelines but they are not eligible to get USDA foods. Approximately 99% of our clients meet USDA guidelines," said Lang. At Christmas the organization works with many of the local service organizations as well as the Milpitas School District, and the Milpitas Fire Department, to provide food and toys to needy families. Most of the food supplies come through the Second Harvest Food Bank. Local retailers provide dairy products and bread and pastry donations are received from a local grocery store.

Soon the organization's website will give people the chance to apply for assistance through an online application and making donations online. "I am presently working with the webmaster to get the website updated. This update will include a list of corporate, foundation and service club donors as well as will provide the option to donate on-line. This should be completed in the next two weeks," said Lang.

There are no sign-ups during the give-aways. All recipients must be pre-registered and have tickets issued by the Milpitas Food Pantry. To pre-register and receive a ticket, the pantry must see ID's for every member of the family.

Donations to the Milpitas Clothes Closet can be made at the Milpitas Food Pantry. Please bring donations only during hours of operation: Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday evening 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. 9 a.m. - 12p.m. Closed Friday. & Sunday
Uniforms can be donated prior to Saturday, August 16 from Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For volunteering with the uniform give away call (408) 946-5564 before August 13. Interested individuals can sign up to volunteer on-line at www.volunteermatch.org.

School Uniform Give away
Saturday, August 16
3 p.m.
Milpitas Food Pantry
196 South Main St., Milpitas
(408) 946-5564
www.milpitasfoodpantry.org

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