This has been a year of challenges and change for the Pantry Pals, which some of the changes have made us look at our procedures and realize it has become easier. With COVID taking over in March, we quickly had to change our process of having participants come into the building for their monthly “shopping” experience. We had to go to packing the bags either the afternoon before or morning of the Pantry, which are then loaded into the cars as they drive up. There was some concern that we would lose our connection with the people, but we have not let that happen. We have been very careful as we listen to their stories and share news with them, and maintain safety on both sides. We have consistently served 25-35 families per month this year, with monthly weights averaging 60-80 lbs., and kept the mini pantry outside stocked. In November we purchased a turkey breast for each family, and December each received a small ham. Funding from the community and grants written, has made it possible to do additional purchases of food items. We were able to coordinate purchasing Scrip cards for Family Fare and this has been a win-win for both programs.
I personally want to say “Thank You” to those who have felt comfortable enough during COVID to volunteer. There are those that meet the Feed My People Truck to unload, set up bagging area and pack bags, work the day of pantry, clean up afterwards and keep track of our finances. It has been a struggle at times due to size of loads, family responsibilities and of course the weather, but we have made it work and will strive to continue making it work so that we can help those in our community that need it. We could use some additional man power on the 3rd Friday of each month from about 8:45-9:45 a.m. to help unload the truck when it comes in. If you feel comfortable enough that this could be something you might be able to help with, please contact Chris Stein and he can give you more information.
Sandy Winrich, Pantry Coordinator