Our Food Pantry ministry provides distribution of groceries every Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 am to members of the community who are income eligible to receive food assistance based upon current federal poverty guidelines. People experiencing food insecurity, individuals and families of varying sizes and backgrounds, may receive food for 12 meals per family member once per calendar month. Our choice pantry empowers people to choose items they would like from groups with quantity limits by family size. In 2018, food for over 100,000 meals was provided, of which 33% was for children and 18% was for seniors.
The Food Pantry is a Network Partner of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and participates in the Foodbank’s strategic plan to close the meal gap by 2025. The meal gap is the difference between the number of meals that are needed by members of the community and the number of meals they can access. In addition to distributing food, the Food Pantry made 77 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) referrals to the Foodbank as part of reducing the meal gap in 2018. If approved for SNAP by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, people may then receive an Ohio Direction Card which may be credited with a modest monthly benefit that can be used to purchase food at grocery stores or farmers’ markets.
Most of the items distributed are ordered from the Foodbank, but items are also donated by Walmart and baked goods received from Panera and Giant Eagle. Fresh produce is provided by our Feed My Sheep Garden.
Over 5,200 hours of volunteer time was recorded in 2018. We welcome your participation in this ministry. On Tuesday morning, volunteers help clients select items from food groups on shelves or tables and place them on a serving cart, bag items in plastic bags and put them in a grocery cart, and help clients with their bags to the parking lot. Volunteers also are needed to help set up to prepare for the distribution and clean and restock afterward. Monday morning volunteers help from 8:30 to 10 am to receive cases of items delivered from the Foodbank and put them in stacks on pallets or place them in refrigerators or freezers. Some repackaging or set up is also done. If you may be interested in helping as a volunteer for either our Tuesday distributions or for receiving orders on Monday or would like to offer financial support, please contact us.
Want to donate needed items? We are currently in need of:
• Dish Soap
• Tooth Brushes
• Disposable Razors
• Body Soap (bars)
Downsizing? Looking to free up some cupboard space in the kitchen? Please consider donating your pots, pans, dinnerware, cutlery or other kitchen utensils! These are offered on an as-needed basis if volunteers determine a particular need for a food pantry client. All donations can be dropped off at our church office.