The Root Cellar Food and Wellness Hub is making some minor adjustments to enhance participant experiences and personal growth to food security. We know that choice is an essential element to housing first practice and leads to independence and success in programming.
If you have a participant who is moving in to their new home here are some great opportunities to work with us to ensure emergency food is available for your client; (this used to be what we called move in hampers)
We are open Monday to Friday from 10:30 am- 12pm specifically for workers to come in with their participants to access our choice room. This limits the wait time for both you and the participant.To access this special time for you and your client please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment time. We ask that when you come in, you check in with our receptionist and pick up your client weight ticket. We also ask that you weigh the food you take and record the weights on the weight ticket and leave it with reception on your way out. We know that sometimes emergencies happen outside of this protocol and we can offer a small hamper called a 1 to go that will get them through until they can come in to shop. Just contact our intake advisor if you need something like this.
Typical Root Cellar programming and usage - What you can tell your participant about some changes you may be seeing here at the Root Cellar.
We understand that poverty and emergency need do not fit into a policy box, so we have decided to review each participant on their unique and individual circumstances. Therefore appointments must be a booked appointment where our Intake Advisor will assess income and reason for attending the Root Cellar. Each situation will be reviewed on an individual basis. After their documents have been submitted, Income is certainly a part of the equation which is why we continue to have that conversation. However, please be assured that it is not the only factor in assessing an individuals need. Also, please keep in mind we are still not turning people away, however, to best support individuals to have food security (which does not mean they attend the Root Cellar indefinitely) we must begin to add personal responsibility, opportunity for system navigation, teaching, personal growth and appropriate boundaries regarding quantity and timeliness of emergency food pantry visits.
When workers bring participants to the Root Cellar there are some expectations around what we need from both the participant and the worker. Initially, we expect the worker and participant to have a meal plan ready as well as a budget put in place prior visiting the the Emergency Food Pantry. The reason we ask participants and workers to have a plan is to encourage participants to move from dependence on the Emergency Food Pantry and other systems to actively engaging and practicing in the process of food sustainability.
With a successfully created a meal plan and budget we expect the participant to purchase the bulk of their groceries using their income. We understand that most of the participants have a limited income, and that is ok, we ask that they budget and spend where they are able, and the Root Cellar will willingly provide the supplement.
We ask that workers remember those stocking the shelves are volunteers and deserve the utmost of respect. They are frantically trying to stock shelves so that the 85 or more participants we see in the afternoon have choice of food as well. Please do your best to give them some space to do their jobs and a thank you is very much appreciated!
When initially bringing a participant into the Root Cellar please check with Reception to receive your weight ticket and check in.
We are grateful to have you all as community partners and want to make this successful for all of us. We know a collective impact approach is the most effective way to work with our participants to move them out of the system. Food security is not achieved by accessing Emergency Food Pantry services as an ongoing answer to hunger. We thank you for participating in our collective mission to end poverty and increase well being of our community.