Local church helps distribute discounted food boxes – available to everyone – that helps folks eat well in a challenging economy.
By Maddy PUMILIA
In this tough economic time, everyone is looking to save a few dollars and La Cañada’s St. George’s Episcopal Church is prepared to help.
St. George’s is partnering with a company called the Treasure Box, a non profit organization. The Treasure Box sells food that either was left over from a surplus or the label on package was misprinted. For example, explained St. George’s deacon Anthony Keller, a company won’t sell a pack of carrots that had a label spelled with an extra ‘r.’ The carrots are still good, so the Treasure Box buys the items at wholesale prices and passes along that savings to the public. The Treasure Box sells the food at the discounted price and churches like St. George’s help distribute the boxes. In short, it’s a way for people to stretch their food dollar. Recipients of the boxes can save up to 65%. The food retails for $60 to $85, but a Treasure Box only costs $32.
“It’s a great saving for families. It’s really good for seniors on a fixed income,” said Keller.
“Our food is top quality,” said Chris Balian, a representative for Treasure Box. He said the company follows USDA guidelines.
A Treasure Box could feed a family of four for a week or an individual for three weeks. The August Treasure Box selections offers 20 to 25 pounds of frozen food including breaded chicken patties, beef meatloaf, turkey hot dogs, whole chicken, beef stroganoff, cheese ravioli, mini corn on the cob, green beans, elbow pasta, bran cereal with raisins and cake. There are other boxes available including a smaller box at a reduced price, a kids’ box, a hearty protein box and a healthy box. Some brands the company works with are Sara Lee, Stouffer’s, Kraft and Nestle.
“The wonderful thing is [there is] no minimum requirements. Anyone can order. It can really help anyone,” said Keller.
“This program is for everybody,” agreed Balian. “There are no requirements. We don’t ask for income information. It’s for anyone who wants to save money on groceries.”
To purchase a Treasure Box, visit www.thetreasurebox.org and pay by a credit card. To pay with cash, contact Anthony Keller at (818) 790-3323. The August deadline to order is Wednesday, Aug. 17. The pick-up date is Saturday, Aug. 27.
“This really helps people budget themselves and plan meals ahead of time,” said Balian.
Treasure Box started two and a half years ago and has completed 36 months of delivery. They distribute all over California from San Diego to Northern California, Nevada and Arizona. They have sold 250,000 boxes online. That number does not include boxes purchased in cash.
Keller said that anyone can volunteer to help distribute the Treasure Boxes. A volunteer doesn’t even have to be a member of St. George’s.
To volunteer, contact Keller.
“It’s a great way for the community here to help others,” said Keller.
“It’s not a hand out,” said Balian. “It’s a hand up … it saves a lot of money on [someone’s] grocery bill.”