October 8th at the Food Pantry

Good afternoon, everybody – Today we served 39 families, including 73 adults, 57 children and 11 seniors.  They were served by me. Benny, Ellen, Eileen, Jay and Lyn.

We had placed an order at the Food Bank, so there were plenty of canned goods to go around (except flour).  On TuesdayEllen and Eileen picked up our monthly allotment of fresh produce from the Food Bank, so everybody left with two bags of fresh produce, including lettuce, leeks, plums, corn and several other vegetables.
Plus, there was a bountiful harvest from the Roots & Wings garden – various kinds of tomatoes, greens, two huge heads of cabbage, green peppers, hot peppers, sprigs of broccoli and an eggplant.  Plus Maria H. arrived with a friend who brought chard, spinach and parsley from her garden.  Everything was gone by 12:00.
This was the second week when we gave out numbers on a lottery basis.  One woman wasn’t happy because she had arrived at 7:30 a.m. and drew number 8, but ultimately everybody felt that it was a fairer system.  People will adjust over time, and may not be so driven to arrive so early.
A mother brought in her son’s birth certificate this morning, so we have our first candidate for the free diaper program, which will begin soon.
On Saturday, October 18 from 9:00 to 12:00 the youth of South Church will be having a food drive for the pantry at Stop & Shop.  Hopefully some from this list will end up at Stop & Shop that day and contribute something to the pantry.
Towards the end of this month there will be a food drive by the fourth and fifth graders at Springhurst School for us.  These food drives at Springhurst last year brought us a huge bounty of food for our clients.  I’m sure the students and their parents will be just as generous this time.  And there will be two more drives later in the winter and spring!  Thanks to Debra B. for doing the work of organizing these drives.
I spoke yesterday to my neighbor, Barbara M. (we have two Barbara M’s on this list), who leads a girl scout troop.  The scouts last year were tireless in their efforts for us, and Barbara says that a drive for us is planned for November.
There will be a service on October 19 at South Church, highlighting the pantry and Roots & Wings.  Congregants have already been encouraged to bring food or make a monetary contribution that day.
This coming Tuesday,October 14, Lyn, Jay and I will be attending a meeting at the Food Bank where we can meet up with people from other pantries in the area and learn what problems they’ve encountered and what solutions they’ve come up with.  Many of those pantries have been running for years, so they’ve undoubtedly already gone through the ups and downs we’ve gone through.
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