Free food distribution Thursday in Quincy

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File photo Volunteers sort and distribute food to more than 200 families at a previous food distribution in Quincy. Another distribution will be held Saturday.

QUINCY — There will a free food distribution on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 12 to 2 p.m. at Quincy Community Health Center, 1450 1st Ave. SW.

Free produce and perishable food, distributed by the 2nd Harvest Mobile Market, will be made available to anyone needing food assistance. Appointments and documentation are not needed.

“(You) don’t have to have an ID to come,” said Mary Jo Ybarra-Vega, Outreach and Behavioral Health Coordinator for Quincy Community Health Center. “Just show up. We ask for a name and phone number. We are not collecting any personal information and will not share. The phone number is in case the lettuce is bad or the apples. If something went wrong with the produce, we can call them to throw it away.”

The event will be held outside, regardless of the weather.

“Wind, rain or shine,” commented Ybarra-Vega. “We wanted to do this in December, but we thought it might be too cold. It might be too cold now in February.”

“Typically during Christmas time, we (Quincy Community Health Center) give a donation to the food bank or give presents. The idea was to do this in December as a Christmas gift to the community. Now it is a Valentine’s Day treat.”

The food distribution is supported by volunteers from the Moses Lake and Quincy Community Health Centers, Dell, Microsoft Data Center, Amway, the Quincy School District, Moses Lake OIC and the Salvation Army.

“We get together and hand out food,” said Ybarra-Vega. “In the past, we have had from seven to 1,000 individuals served in one single day. We are able to see families come that are in need of food. There are older people. There are lots of people coming over from Soap Lake, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Warden, and Wenatchee. It feels good to be able to help people. It is pretty humbling. It is a fulfilling day.”

Food to be distributed varies at each distribution. Second Harvest works with local growers and grocery stores to provide food for those in need.

“Every time we’ve done this, it has been different,” Ybarra-Vega said.

In the past, meat, salmon, fresh local vegetables, potatoes, apples, onions, bread, grains, pastas, crackers and juice have been handed out.

“It can be whatever our partners are willing to share for us that day,” said Ybarra-Vega.

Those wishing to receive food should bring their own boxes or bags.

Rachal Pinkerton can be reached via email at rpinkerton@columbiabasinherald.com.

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