Sanpete Pantry seeks more county coin to continue charitable works
By James Tilson
MANTI—Representatives from the Sanpete Pantry reminded the county commission on Tuesday that it feeds Sanpete residents very efficiently, but it will also require more assistance to continue its operations in the future. Jeff Jarman, President of Sanpete Pantry, spoke to the Sanpete County Commission about the dangers he sees in running the charitable operation. “We cannot continue to operate in the manner we do,” said Jarman. “We would like to pay our employees better, and have a stable source of revenue.”Jarman pointed out the pantry has an annual budget of $60,000 a year, which when compared to the number of people served in Sanpete County, works out to a total cost of $5 per person served per year. Out of the $60,000, the county provides $5,000 per year. Thus, the cost to the county to distribute 30,000 pounds of food per month comes out to $0.42 per person per year. “And this figure does not take into account the “Kid Pack” program,” which provides a sack of food on the weekend for “at risk” children. Jarman related the efforts at increasing the pantry revenue sources beyond the charitable events the pantry sponsors every year. Over the last three years, the pantry has instituted a cardboard recycling program, through the use of a cardboard baler procured by the pantry. “Volunteers collect old corrugated cardboard from more than 60 locations on the north side of the county, removing 6,000 pounds per week from dumpsters and landfills,” he said. “However, most of our volunteers are retirees, or work for minimum wage. We cannot replenish their ranks when they quit, and we are afraid we will have to suspend or drastically reduce this program in the near future.” Jarman asked the commissioners for an additional $15,000 per year from the county, or “$1 per person served per year from the county, and $1 per family served from each political entity’s zip code.” Commission Chair Scott Bartholomew reminded Jarman the county’s budget had already been set for the current fiscal year. “We know this is not an action item, it is informational,” said Jarman. Bartholomew told Jarman if he were to come back to the commission in the fall before the budget considerations had been made, “we may be able to slide it in.” Bartholomew also told Jarman he would make sure the pantry’s request would be on the mayors and commissioners’ agendas this month. Also during the commission’s meeting, the Central Utah Counseling Center (CUCC) reported on its yearly independent financial audit. According to the report, the CUCC showed a profit of $531,000, which they intend to use in capital improvement. Their “total net position” is $3.9 million, which is deposited in a reserve account. And finally, the audit made “no findings,” which CUCC’s representatives explained meant the CUCC was in total compliance.The commissioners appointed Keith Jensen as Chair of the Government Efficiency Committee, Jay Olsen to the Sanpete Water Conservancy District Board to replace Edwin Sunderland and Claudia Jarrett to the Board of Adjustments to replace Erica Wightman.