“We Are Community” is the slogan the Hartsel Community Library and Hartsel Community Center have adopted in their online and print advertising of their novel coronavirus emergency food bank efforts.

The two groups of volunteers have proven what we all have seen play out across our nation in the past two months, that there is power in community coming together to help those most in need in a time of shared crisis.

Since mid-March, when the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to be understood and restrictions on activities were coming into place, two community groups, Hartsel Community Center and Hartsel Community Library, came together to provide food to residents in need.

Neither group typically operates as a food bank, but the need was there and volunteers were eager to do what they could to help.

To date, they have distributed 61 boxes of food, serving 133 Hartsel residents. The recipients are made up of single persons, families with children, elderly and handicapped residents.

In the beginning, the two groups funded the food purchases with their own resources, along with some community food donations. Recently, the two groups received support from a state-wide grant program Blueprint COVID-19 Hunger Relief Fund.

Additionally, local merchants, Gary and Carol Trainer at Badger Basin Country Store made a substantial donation of food items. The emergency food bank has also benefited from a cooperative effort with the South Park Food Bank, which has agreed to provide a portion of the food items needed. All of these resources will enable the emergency food bank to continue operating for up to three months, if needed.

The Hartsel Community Center, Hartsel Community Library and the good folks in the Town of Hartsel are grateful for the support from inside the community and beyond.

Go to Hartsel Community Center or Hartsel Community Library Facebook pages for more information.

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