RISE accepting donations, expecting increase of need for holiday season

The RISE Inc. Winters location at 200 Baker St. is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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RISE, Inc. is gearing up for increased demand for their food pantry and other services.

“We see a lot of families throughout the year, but right now in the holidays is when we start picking up,” said Aracely Del Toro, RISE Resource & Referral Specialist.

With the holidays right around the corner, community members may want to find opportunities to donate to local charities and nonprofit organizations. 

But, when it comes to food donations, it’s not always obvious what kinds of donations best serve people’s needs.

With a food pantry, many donors gravitate towards bringing items like Kraft Mac and Cheese and Hamburger Helper, but donors should also consider the preparation when planning what to bring. Kraft Mac and Cheese requires milk and butter, which are hard to find at food pantries, and Hamburger Helper doesn’t get anywhere without ground beef.

Products like rice and beans, on the other hand, only require water to prepare and “are really popular with the community,” according to Del Toro.

Donors also may not consider items like salt and pepper, tea bags, coffee, butter, eggs, or flour as good to donate, but they can feel like a luxury among boxes and boxes of pasta sauce or canned vegetables that can’t be opened without a can opener.

Del Toro also noted that hygiene and personal products aren’t often donated but are helpful, especially when approaching unhoused clients. Dish soap, hand soap, and laundry soap are very useful, she said.

“We also really need diapers for new moms that come in here and need new diapers for their kids,” said Del Toro.

Donors can bring donations anytime during the week. 

Food distributions and other services
RISE Inc. hosts Yolo Food Bank distributions on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 10  a.m. for anyone in addition to an income-based canned goods distribution.

On top of the usual holiday increase in demand, the pandemic has also increased demand for services like rental assistance. “We have seen a lot of new community members come in here since the pandemic,” said Del Toro.

The RISE Inc. Winters location at 200 Baker St. is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The food pantry is open for clients and donors during these times.

Other programs
RISE Inc. also hosts an after school cooking program on Mondays and Wednesdays for middle and high school students called Dual Fuel,  and a girl’s group for eigth graders at Winters Middle School as well as individual consultations for rental assistance.

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