We all know it’s expensive to live here. Most of our pantry clients are employed (or are veterans or on disability) but cannot pay the rent and feed their families on what they earn. Government programs like food stamps do not cover toothpaste, hygiene products, diapers, or even toilet paper. Buying these essentials takes cash out of the household and increase the chances of hunger. Over the past 10 years, the Deacons have added new programs, distributed at the Food Pantry, for diapers, school supplies and other non-food essentials. We’ve come to realize that these are not “separate projects” but really all part of an umbrella effort to address hunger in our community.
So we are moving to a One Pantry model, financially and operationally. When you give money to “the Pantry” your donations will be used for food, diapers, school supplies, elder care and hygiene products – our whole portfolio. This will provide us flexibility in the budget, and we hope will make donating easier, with a single focus rather than three different topics at six different times of the year. We are also deeply grateful for your donations of food (the item of the month is really important to us), large size diapers, school supplies or hygiene products – and incredibly thankful for your prayers, support and volunteer hours to help the pantry operate!
We are also working with the Mission Commission to discern what we might do on the advocacy side, to reduce the root causes of hunger in our community, and to increase our clients’ health and self-sufficiency with regards to food.
~Katharine Frase, for the Food Pantry