Our food pantry is a really vital part of our program.  Almost every guest that walks through our doors each day is in need of food.  A few weeks ago, we talked about all the sources of our food supply. Now we’ll talk about what type food is distributed.

For guests that reside in New Hanover County, we package  the TEFAP food from the government’s program delivered through the NC Foodbank.   We receive the food once a month (the volume varies each month) , and the supply is distributed until it’s depleted.  This month we received a large variety of food:  frozen chicken, canned meats and salmon, canned fruit and vegetables, boxed milk, juice, pasta, cheese, peanut butter, raisins and frozen blueberries.  One bag of  just the non-perishables weighs 22 pounds!

For guests from other counties, we distribute meat  from Food Lion and the Foodbank  and several items of non-perishable goods from our shelves of donated food;  once we run out of TEFAP food, we also use these sources for the New Hanover guests.

Diabetic guests are eligible to receive food purchased under a grant we receive from Cape Fear Foundation;  our shoppers stock the fridge and shelves with items geared to their special diet: frozen chicken and pork chops, fresh vegetables and fruit,  bread, eggs and staples such as olive oil, tuna, glucerna, artificial sweetener, mustard, oatmeal, sugar-free jello and  tea.  We even have a team of volunteers that deliver diabetic food to home bound elders once a month.

Guests that are homeless, or without cooking facilities, are given items such as ‘pop-tops’,  canned meat or seafood ,   snacks, crackers, protein bars, drinks, fruit snacks and treats..

For elders in need of extra nutrition, we have a supply of ‘Boost’ and ‘Ensure’  and other protein drinks.

Breads and bakery goods  are available to everyone.

Twice a week, we are able to offer bagged lunches  with a sandwich, chips, a piece of fruit and a drink.

The volume of food on hand varies day to day as we collect food from donors; we have shoppers that also visit the Foodbank each Tuesday, and that allows us to purchase  additional meat, produce and canned goods as needed.

When our  fridges, freezers and shelves are fully stocked, our guests go home with a couple heavy  bags of food;  this not only feeds their family for a several days, but it saves them a fair amount of money ,  allowing them to spread out more of their own funds  to apply to their utility bills or other expenses.

 

Special need of the week :   Next Sunday is ‘Share Sunday’ (the first Sunday of the month);  consider bringing a non-perishable food donation to Mass next weekend.