Running Bear Food Bank

Serving an average of 600 households each month, Running Bear Food Bank is offering a new grocery-type experience for its clients. White Mountain Catholic Charities purchases food for the program from United Food Bank and St. Mary’s Food Bank. The food bank is open Tuesdays and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2458 Running Bear Rd. in Lakeside.

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — To say that people don’t know about the Running Bear Food Bank would not be a true statement. According to White Mountain Catholic Charities (WMCC) and Running Bear Food Bank Director James R. Latimer, 800 households benefited from it last month.

This Lakeside food bank serves around 600 households every month with food assistance and is happy to serve others.

Many will be glad to know that a new grocery-type experience is now being offered which allows self-choice food options.

Though no documentation is required of persons participating for receiving assistance, clients are required to enroll onsite with the Link2Feed program. This program is a food bank tracking database used by St. Mary’s Food Bank and United Food Bank where Running Bear purchases the food for this local program.

Senior citizens (60+) may also receive a monthly food box but must enroll through the Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP). It does require an ID and income eligibility information and the enrollment months of this program vary. Seniors can sign up and provide their information in person at the food bank without having to go online or to another location.

Running Bear Food Bank is registered with the Department of Economic Security (DES) as a Choice Pantry and the food is provided through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

Food is distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting, at the food bank which is located at 2458 Running Bear Rd. in Lakeside.

Running Bear Food Bank is under Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico. The White Mountain Catholic Charities office is located at 2190 E. White Mountain Blvd. in Pinetop and their main number is 928 367-2244. Religious affiliation is not necessary; no one is turned away.

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Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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