Helping Hand of Humboldt was started in 1955 by five Christian women determined to help the disadvantaged. Their programs include a food pantry and on-site meal program. In March 2020, they moved to a larger, more accessible location to expand services and better serve their community. They have also been able to add a dining room which seats 50 guests for lunch Tuesday-Friday.
They transitioned the food pantry to a Client’s Choice model and find the feedback from patrons on being able to shop for themselves to be consistently positive. To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, their hot lunch program transitioned to volunteers delivering the meals directly to the guests’ table. Volunteers are masked and gloved, and the number of guests served at one time is limited. In addition to safety, hand-delivering the meal provides more time to communicate worth and dignity to patrons who frequently comment on the kind natured and caring environment of Helping Hand.
They’ve worked to expand their social media efforts and in turn have received increased support from the community by way of volunteer efforts, financial contributions, and donations to the Resale Shop which supports our food programs.
The added services have increased the need for volunteers and while the community responds well to requests for help, maintaining a sufficient volunteer base is an ongoing challenge — especially when retirement age individuals who might have time to volunteer are finding it necessary to avoid public places.
In 2021, Helping Hand plans to install walk-in refrigeration which will expand their capacity to distribute more produce, dairy, and protein to those in the community who are in need. They also hope to increase marketing efforts to reach more residents who need assistance but are unaware of the food and other services available.
Second Harvest is so proud to partner with Helping Hand of Humboldt!