Our Food Pantry ministry provides weekly distribution of groceries to local people in need — individuals and families of varying sizes and backgrounds — every Tuesday morning from 9:30 – 11:30 am. Our choice pantry empowers people to choose items they would like from groups with quantity limits by family size. People experiencing food insecurity may visit once per calendar month and receive food for nine meals per family member.
Our volunteer-run Food Pantry operates in association with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and runs on support from grants, government funding, the harvest from the Feed My Sheep Garden, and donations from our generous congregation and friends in the wider community including WalMart, Panera, Giant Eagle, and Acme.
The distribution of food through food pantries is one way to reduce the meal gap, which 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 2017, the Food Pantry provided food for almost 70,000 meals to members of the community.
The Food Pantry also makes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) referrals to the Foodbank as part of reducing the meal gap. In that process, people may 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. In December 2017, 18 SNAP referrals were made to the Foodbank.
Forty-seven people volunteered in the Food Pantry in 2017. The average number of total volunteer hours per month for August through December was 345 with a high of 380 hours in October. In addition to that, four teams rotated picking up baked goods donated by Panera in Montrose and another group led by Bethany UCC in Cuyahoga Falls along with Stow UCC members picked up donated baked goods from Giant Eagle in Stow. The Food Pantry received 714 pounds of produce from the church’s Feed My Sheep Garden and several members of the congregation brought vegetables from their personal gardens to be distributed.
We welcome your participation in this ministry. If you would like to become involved as a volunteer for either our Tuesday distributions or for receiving orders on Monday or offer financial support, please contact us. Want to donate needed items? We are currently in need of:
- Dish Soap
- Tooth Brushes
- Disposable Razors
- Body Wash
- 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 to our food pantry clients who are just starting out. All donations can be dropped off at our church office.