By LARISSA COPELAND
A donation drive scheduled for Sunday will help feed area families, while also honoring the giving spirit of one Yukon resident’s son.
Since 2010, Jacob’s Cupboard has provided food to those in need – no questions asked.
Sunday, the nonprofit will host its ninth annual September food drive at Vacca Territory, 10 W. Main, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Shelli Selby, whose son, Jacob, is the nonprofit’s namesake, said she wanted to have a way to remember and honor her son after he passed away unexpectedly.
“He was so giving to other people,” she said. “He worked downtown for a law firm, and he would always give to the needy and the homeless down there.”
When Selby would question if her son’s donations actually went toward food or other necessities, she said Jacob would tell her that it wasn’t his place to ask those questions.
“He would say, ‘God tells us to give, and how they use it is between them and God,’” Selby said.
Located in West Metro Community Church at 601 W Main St, Jacob’s Cupboard has no set hours, but provides food to people when they call.
The pantry doesn’t receive government funding, which means it isn’t required to ask for recipients’ income or other statistics.
That, Selby said, is by design.
“Sometimes you make $5 over the amount to qualify for help,” Selby said. “We don’t have to follow those guidelines so we can help those who make too much but still sometimes can’t put food on the table.”
Not receiving government funding means the organization’s two fundraisers – one in February and one to coincide with Jacob’s birthday in September – are its main ways of obtaining food and monetary donations for perishable items like meat, milk or eggs.
It also means that Selby is not required to track the number of people who reach out to Jacob’s Cupboard for help.
“We don’t want families to become a number,” she said. “We want to just give. A lot of times I don’t even know their names, and I don’t know their stories – unless they want to tell them.”
Selby said the organization doesn’t have a goal for the event, which will include live music and cake.
“We don’t want to put a limit on God,” she said. “We will take what people want to give.”
During the celebration, donations of funds and nonperishable food will be accepted. Cereal, peanut butter and jelly are three of the pantry’s most popular items, as are macaroni and cheese.
“We want to give people what we would want to eat,” she said. “Something fun to be able to give are snacks and cookies, because people don’t always get those. Of course we want to make sure they get the needs and the basics, but snacks are always a treat to be able to give.”
In addition to honoring the memory of her son, Selby said her work with the pantry has been an honor and an education.
“It’s taught me to not be so judgmental,” she said. “You never know what people are going through. We look at everyone (who asks for help) as a person who is in need and is doing what they can. Every time we provide food to somebody, it’s like just a little bit of him continues to live on.”
Selby said the community has been instrumental in helping keep her son’s memory and charitable spirit alive.
“He was such a great person, and through his death, he’s had such an impact on people’s lives. I am so thankful for all the support that people have given over the past 10 years,” she said. “God always provides, and this community helps provide for so many. I’m so thankful they allow us to help.”
For more information, visit Jacob’s Cupboard on Facebook or email Selby at firstname.lastname@example.org.