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In our town, there is an event hat happens every month on the second Thursday, and it gets a LOT of attention! They call it “Mass Food” but I call it “Community Groceries” because I feel that better represents what it is. It isn’t a food bank, you don’t have to be low income, they don’t check family size, everyone gets the same amount of groceries and the items change each time.
The event starts at 10am, but people start lining up as early as 5 am and there are HUNDREDS of people that show up! Last month I got there right at closing (noon) and the line went very quickly. This month, however, I decided to see what the options were if I lined up early, so we got there at 9:30 am. I will admit that from last month to this month, there wasn’t a quality or amount difference depending on the time you were in line, so from now on, I will go at around 11:00 after the huge line dies down.
A huge truck drops off pallets of food, and volunteers unpack and sort the groceries onto different tables. Then we get to go around and do our “grocery shopping” for free! I also found out that they hold some food behind and once the event is over, they deliver boxes to elderly and disabled individuals, which I think is fantastic!
Free Produce stretches our grocery budget
We were able to get a nice amount of fresh produce, some yogurt, milk, bread and donuts, as well as some chicken salad starter mix, tuna salad and pasta salad! I think my favorite item this month was those jalapeno peppers! Apparently everyone else was walking by them and saying “No thank you” to the person handing them out, but not I! We LOVE jalapeno peppers and I made sure to tell him that, lol! He gave us 3 huge handfulls of them and they will go in many meals over the next week or two!
Finding this was such a blessing for our family, as it is for well over 300 other families in my town who knew about the event. Fresh produce is the number one killer to our food budget, but with having grapes, cherries, potatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, apples and pears from this, we should be doing pretty good with our budget!
Does your town (or a neighboring town?) offer an event like this one? If so, let me know in the comments below and let me know where you are located, so we can help others!