Providing the most basic of needs to those who are the most vulnerable in the community is the main objective of Pahrumpâs Path of Hope.
For more than five years, the organization operated by New Hope Fellowship Ministries, regularly distributes food to the valleyâs less fortunate at no charge.
Coordinator Diane Hett said though the weekly distributions will continue, the hours have recently changed, due to the weather.
âIt was just too hot for everybody, including those that are getting the food and for the workers and for those sitting in their cars waiting in line,â she said. âThe time it takes for volunteers to distribute the food varies because it depends on how many people we have that come through our line.â
Hett said sheâs concerned that not everybody is aware of the new schedule.
âThe new hours are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesdays, while the old hours were 10 a.m. to noon,â she said. âWe are located at 781 West St. and it really benefits everybody who needs it.â
Path of Hope partners with Three Square Food Bank to distribute the food items each week.
Hett said neither she nor the recipients know what they will receive until the delivery truck arrives.
âWe do get food from other sources but most of it is from Three Square,â she said. âToday we had a bunch of water to give away along with bread, potatoes and produce like cucumbers and carrots. We have all kinds of different varieties of food including canned goods.â
Since Path of Hope has been providing the service in Pahrump, Hett noted the response shows thereâs a real need in the community.
âIf we were to close down, there would be a lot of people who would not get food,â she said. âA lot of people go to many of the different food pantries that are a lot smaller of course. We currently feed anywhere from 350 to 500 families in a given week.â
Additionally, Hett said though many of the recipients are employed, stagnant low wages and the cost of food create the need to seek assistance.
âSome of those people have a small income but it’s not enough to buy groceries but yet they don’t qualify for food stamps and other kinds of assistance,â she said. âI know several families who are in that situation because they lost their jobs and haven’t been able to replace that income so without us, there are a number of families that would go hungry. This is a very important safety net for a lot of folks.â
Path of Hope also provides regular food distribution via the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That program, Hett said, occurs once every eight weeks and requires certain documentation.
âThey have to bring in an identification card and proof of residency and that’s for the commodities distribution which is every other month,â she said. âIn fact, July 18th will be the next commodity distribution day.â
Gratitude, Hett said, is something that is not lost on the recipients, as they offer tokens of thanks every week.
âThe recipients are very grateful for this and we usually get at least four to five little notes saying thank you for all that you do,â she said. âWe do take donations and we do get some donations from time to time from some of the other local churches. I get a few donations from people who don’t even live here.â