It Takes Many Hands to Make the Food Pantry Run

Running our food pantry takes a continuous cycle of support. Preparation for the next pantry begins almost as soon as a pantry distribution ends. After the pantry closes, we:

  • Enter newly registered families, Beaver Ridge and Senior pick-up clients into our database
  • Run statistics required by Feeding Westchester as well as for planning the next pantry and for reporting back to the Congregation during the service on Sunday.

During the week we:

  • Run inventory (just peek in Room 5 and you’ll understand how daunting this task is) Inventory is critical to understanding what we need to order.
  • Process donations (sort, date check, inventory and shelve)
  • Monitor the Feeding Westchester ordering site for items we need, balancing what we order with what we have room to store, especially in our freezers.
  • Purchase diapers and adult care items

During pantry week we:

  • Prepare packing lists for pick-ups (clients pick up for friends and family who can’t make it to the pantry), Beaver Ridge and limited mobility clients
  • Set shelf stock lists
  • Recruit volunteers for Friday truck delivery, Friday pantry set up and Saturday pantry

On Friday before pantry we:

  • Meet the delivery truck and unload it. Recently we’ve been doing this almost every week
  • Stage room 4, 7 and 9 for packing produce and pick up bags
  • From 2-4 PM a group of 8-12 volunteers come and help us:
  1. Pack produce into individual bags
  2. Pack three sizes of pick up bags
  3. Pack bags for Beaver Ridge
  4. Pack and stage bags for our limited mobility clients
  5. Set up the library for pick up bags
  6. Set up diapers or adult care for pantry choice model
  7. Convert Room 7 to our shopping center and stock carts
  8. Cut approximately 40 doz eggs in half

On Saturday, before pantry opens we:

  • Place signs around the church campus to direct traffic
  • Stock meat on our shelves
  • Set up our registration table
  • Hand out assignments and brief volunteer staff

When pantry opens, a team of 15 to 20 volunteers work continuously from 8-11 to keep the
pantry running smoothy by:

  • Monitoring the parking lot, greeting incoming clients, registering clients, staffing each food choice area, handing out pick up bags, restocking shelves and helping clients get to their cars with their items.
  • A separate team picks up and delivers to Beaver Ridge

When the pantry closes, we clean up and start the process all over again.

Submitted by our pantry leaders Debbie Bernardini and Katharine Frase. Are you interested in getting involved?