Food on the shelves of the Iron County Care and Share pantry, Cedar City, Utah, May 25, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News
CEDAR CITY — Iron County residents struggling to make ends meet can now more easily replenish their food budget, thanks to the help of Iron County Care and Share and its pantry in Cedar City.
Peggy Green, director of Iron County Care and Share, told Cedar City News that rules have recently been relaxed regarding the amount of qualifying documentation previously required.
“We used to have quite a laundry list of backup documents that needed to be present,” said Green. “And we really managed to get that out of the picture.”
Receiving food aid is now as simple as showing photo ID and certifying that your monthly income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. Those numbers currently range from $1,986 per month for a single person to $6,885 per month for a family of eight. For a family of four, the amount is $4,085.
“It’s a matter of looking at the income eligibility guidelines, and we have them on our websiteshe added. “It will say, ‘How many people are in your house?’ and ‘What is your total income?’
“It’s as easy as coming in and filling out a quick application, which you can do online before you even enter. One of the easiest qualifications is that if you qualify for SNAP, you qualify for food here,” Green added, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Green said Iron County Care and Share staff will help recipients fill out forms, answer questions, make appointments and make other arrangements. Spanish language help is also available.
“We don’t ask for a lot of backup documentation,” Green added. “We’re just asking for your eligibility statement and signature. We try to make it as easy as possible for you.”
Green said the pantry currently hands out 65-70 boxes of food on a typical distribution day. Each box contains 70-100 pounds of food and is intended to supplement a family’s monthly food budget.
Green also said some recipients qualify for an extra bag of food between their monthly boxes.
“We tailor boxes and bags to family size,” Green added. “There are all kinds of families in Iron County and Cedar City. So whether you have one person in the house or you have 18 people in the house, we will adjust what you get to make sure you get what you need.”
“We also have additions to the boxes,” she said, noting that such extra items usually include diapers, laundry detergent, and other household items.
“Another important thing to note is that seniors can get an extra box on top of the monthly box,” Green said. “So seniors are eligible for more food, which is such a great need right now. Every day seniors come in and say, “I went to the grocery store and filled my shopping cart, but I couldn’t check out.”
“We have so many people with a fixed income. As rents continue to rise, their ability to fend for themselves diminishes. We really take that into account.”
Last year, Iron County Care and Share provided food aid to more than 1,500 different households in the community, Green noted.
While making an appointment is recommended, new customers are welcome to drop in without an appointment during the pantry’s regular opening hours, Monday through Thursday between 9am and 2.30pm. The facility is located at 222 W. 900 North, Cedar City. The pantry phone number is 435-586-4962.
Iron County Care and Share is a private, not-for-profit entity that also operates a temporary emergency shelter and provides a range of other community support services. For more information, visit the organization’s website website
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