The purpose of Other Options, Inc. is to provide food, resources, services, and education to at-risk individuals and families with a focus on those affected by HIV and AIDS.
The primary program at Other Options is the Friends Food Pantry which provides nutrient-dense food, nutrition formula, and toiletries to over 1,200 adults and children able to shop monthly. A delivery program for homebound and bedfast individuals/families that provides food baskets and easy to prepare meals is also in place at Other Options.
The Founding Board Members of Other Options working in the health care community in the early 1980s saw the need to educate and inform those who were affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), as well as health professionals and government agencies. That need became the foundation for Other Options. Our charter and non-profit status were completed in 1989 in time to produce the AIDS for HIV/AIDS handbook requested by The Governor’s Task Force on AIDS. We have been active in the HIV and AIDS community since that time.
Collaborating with other HIV/AIDS Services and Community Based Organizations state-wide, Other Options is committed to providing quality care to the men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS as well as Prevention Education to the affected community.
From the Director’s Desk:
Other Options-Friends Food Pantry offers a wonderful place for people to exercise the power of community. It is amazing to see the support that people provide to help those in need, and many of these folks have been or are currently clients of Friends food pantry. The cycle of helping others when you can help and accepting help when you have a need makes for a strong community. Friends food pantry offers a fun environment for volunteering, being a volunteer at the Friends food pantry is like being a member of a family, we support each other as we support others. Volunteering brings a feeling of happiness and accomplishment, and for younger volunteers it also leads to increased empathy and compassion. If you have a need to use the services of the Food Bank, please do. That is why we are here, to help during tough times, and remember, you do not have to be “poor” to use the pantry. If we can help you keep your car or pay for the utilities by supplying you with food, let us do that.
If you wish to support an organization that is right here in your hometown serving your community, please do. We need your support; without your support we cannot exist. Lately with the pandemic I’m feeling the weight on my shoulders, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and tired but if people can wait in long lines for food, I can get up and go to work so that their cupboards are not bare. We all must do something we must build a more just and equitable society where no person goes hungry.
If that feels like that is a tall task, here are some simple things you can do to help others (and your own mental health):
Give: Nonprofits that have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact are facing significantly increased costs. We will need your continued support in the ongoing crisis. Do your research, find a charity you trust that speaks to your heart and donate to support its efforts.
Volunteer: Yes, this may feel like a worrisome time to be among other humans. Many charities that need your help have implemented new safety measures for volunteers. Get out of the house and help others, you will feel better and you might make some new friends.
Vote: Hunger knows no political party. We should all be able to agree that no one should go hungry. This fall, we are urging everyone to vote in the November election to ensure all voices are heard, particularly those who are typically disenfranchised, and to strengthen the safety net for our most vulnerable neighbors.
I do not know what tomorrow brings but I have made a pledge that I will keep Other Options and Friends food pantry doors open. Please help me to do this task by doing the simple ones that will help keep our doors open.
What we cannot do alone WE can do together!