The Pantry is making some changes to the way we serve those in need around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the past, individuals, social clubs and church groups had picked up information sheets for roughly 1,250 families in need of a holiday meal basket and directly provided those items needed for their holiday meal. Unfortunately, many were unable to make that connection mainly because of the transient nature of the rural/suburban poor. Many labor hours were spent each year by staff at The Pantry and at area churches; still we had unmatched families and families that could not be reached. Both donors and recipients were disappointed. Not only was the process of delivery and reception of the holiday meal baskets fraught with difficulties, but the process of families coming in and signing up for the baskets was tedious, requiring dozens of volunteers to process unnecessary paperwork; an experience that was unnecessary and dehumanizing.
Changing the Holiday Giving Network process from start to finish will serve everyone better. For the 4 weeks prior to each holiday, The Pantry will give opportunity for the clients to get all the non-perishable goods they would need for their holiday meal.
To make this NEW process flow smoothly we will need food and funding to purchase food items. Individuals and groups that had, in the past, supported us by providing for families directly are still being asked to help us to secure those items. Providing purchase power for The Pantry at Feeding America, where typically 5 times the amount of food can be purchased for the retail price can we done by following the link www.thepantry.gr/shop/ The month of October is also County Wide Food Drive. We’ve expanded the time for collecting food from 1 week to the entire month. Volunteers can help by conducting food drives and sorting food for use during the weeks leading up to the holidays. Also, volunteers can help take people shopping in our food area. We’d love to see people come in as they are able.