Foods such as ground beef, peaches and spaghetti sauce cost money at a store, but will be distributed free here this week to Surry County residents who meet income guidelines.
U.S. Department of Agriculture commodities are scheduled to be given out Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at Veterans Memorial Park on West Lebanon Street.
Also included will be beef stew, green beans, corn, apple juice and rice.
Lorene Jones, Surry County’s commodities-distribution coordinator, acknowledges that the variety of items available is less than what normally is involved with the quarterly giveaways.
“They didn’t get as much food in for this quarter as they thought they would,” Jones added Monday of federal officials.
However, some compensation might be provided with qualifying families receiving larger quantities of the foods that are available.
“It looks like the small families are going to get 14 food items and two pounds of ground beef and large families 20 food items and three pounds of ground beef,” Jones said.
The actual amounts doled out for participating households could differ as Friday’s giveaway progresses, the coordinator explained, since varying quantities of the eight food items have been issued.
“You stretch it as far as you can,” Jones said, adding that at the last surplus food giveaway in Mount Airy “we had to turn some families away.”
Distribution personnel will be on the job Friday until all clients are served or food supplies are exhausted.
“Don’t wait until the last minute,” was the advice offered by Jones, who also encourages carpooling by multiple recipients given a recent spike in gas prices.
On Thursday, a giveaway will be held in Elkin at the former Winn-Dixie building on North Bridge Street to serve residents at that end of the county. A drive-through format will be in place at both the Mount Airy and Elkin locations.
During the last distribution in April, 1,629 families, representing 3,165 people, received foods countywide. The 31,868 pounds of items that were involved represented a $35,879 value, Jones said.
“Every little bit helps,” she said of the assistance.
Individuals do not have to be food stamp recipients to qualify for the giveaway, but must meet income guidelines.
For a five-member family, for example, gross income must be below $52,344 per year (or $4,362 a month and $1,007 a week), while those limits for a one-person household are $21,780, $1,815 and $419.
Recipients also must be Surry County residents and provide verification of this, such as a North Carolina driver’s license, utility bill or rent receipt.
One person may pick up foods for multiple families or home-bound individuals. However, in addition to their own form of identification, those receiving them will need a note from persons they are assisting stating the latters’ addresses, incomes, number of people in their households and authorizing the pickups.
Those who want someone to pick up for them do not have to send along their driver’s licenses, which Jones said might pose an inconvenience. An electric bill or rent receipt will be accepted instead, she said.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.