Our Food Bank
Anyone in need who lives in our service area can visit the Food Bank. Food Bank participants may receive food assistance up to twice per month, or more in special circumstances. The Food Bank is a lot like a grocery store – participants choose their own items using a shopping cart. The exact amount of food provided depends on household size (on average, participants receive 148+lbs. of food per visit). Our Food Bank is open 5 days a week on a walk in basis, no appointment is needed.
We are committed to providing nutritious choices for our participants. The majority of our food comes from donations from individuals and from community food drives. Local vendors, farms, and gardens also contribute excess/overstock food and toiletry items. Some of our produce comes from our own organic garden. About 30% of our staple items come from Community Food Share, our local Feeding America affiliate. We also purchase food through our Bulk Food Cooperative. Our Food Bank receives a notable amount of nutrient-dense and organic foods. Specific dietary needs (diabetic, gluten free, etc.) can be accommodated! We have toiletries, diapers, and feminine products in stock, and also have a large supply of formula available for distribution to ensure that parents are able to meet the nutritional needs of their infants if they are unable to breastfeed. For birthdays and holidays, we have special items available in the Food Bank.
Interested in donating food? Food donations to SCCC are tax deductible according to US law. Please see the list of items we accept and our donations drop-off hours. If your business, team, organization, congregation, service club, or other group is interested in organizing a food drive for our Food Bank, please call us. We’d love your participation! We are always in need of food donations.
Our Organic Garden
Sister Carmen Community Center is committed to sustainability and earth stewardship. Our garden is one way we give our commitment to the long term health of our community and our earth. Our garden grows organic vegetables that stock the shelves of our Food Bank. Our garden is located on the south side of our building, is approximately 2,000 square feet in size, and presents an opportunity for dozens of participants to gather and share in garden work. In addition to beginning the garden in 2012, we have added a fruit orchard and composting. …Stay tuned for updates and contact us if you would like to help with garden work.
Free Classes and Screenings
Nutrition Classes: Our nutrition classes focus on where food comes from, the qualities of a well-balanced diet, and how to prepare food in a healthy way that makes the most of the items we have available in our Food Bank. We also discuss how to make a healthy meal in a hurry, how to make nutritious meals on a budget, and how to pack a healthy school lunch for your child. Our children’s nutrition classes in particular focus on how food grows (incorporating visits to our garden) and the different kinds of food groups.
Exercise Classes: We currently provide free yoga classes on site taught by local yoga instructor Chrystal Shearer. Yoga improves flexibility, increases strength, and helps create balance in all areas of life. We also provide free Zumba classes – Come party yourself into shape! Zumba is a Latin-inspired, easy to follow, calorie burning, dance-fitness party. Feel the music and let loose! In addition to yoga and Zumba, we also have a walking club! We hope you’ll join us for a walk that will get your heart rate going.
Basic Health Screenings, Dental Screenings, and Mammograms: Through a partnership with St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry we provide basic health screenings, which include blood pressure and diabetes screenings. We partner with Exempla St. Joseph’s Hospital to provide mammograms, and with Dental Aid to provide dental screenings.
Mental Health Support
We have a behavioral health counselor on site who works with our participants to address acute mental health needs. She uses solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), which is often referred to as simply ‘solution focused therapy’ or ‘brief therapy.’ SFBT is a type of talking therapy that is based upon social constructionist philosophy. It focuses on what participants want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist/counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the participant to envision their preferred future. Then therapist and participant start attending to any moves towards it the envisioned future, whether these are small increments or large changes.
Along with providing this mental health support to participants who have acute needs, we also offer mental health referrals to other organizations in the community who provide a wider array of behavioral health services.
Financial Assistance with Medical Prescriptions and Co-payments
We are able to assist with the costs of essential medical prescriptions or co-payments for essential doctors visits. This service is only available to participants in our Individual & Family Advocacy program.
Health Insurance Enrollment
We connect uninsured families and individuals with health insurance such as Medicaid and Child Health Plan +.