Normally I report on the Interfaith Garden, but this week I was one of 4 Hancock volunteers at the Lexington Food Pantry. So instead of dropping off freshly harvested vegetables and herbs from the Interfaith Garden, I helped distribute rice, prepackaged meals and soup directly to the families in need. The other Hancock volunteers handled other staples, like pasta, cereal, peanut butter, etc. At the end of the morning, we received an update from Carolyn Wortman, longtime volunteer Pantry coordinator, about what is new at the Pantry.

 

On Saturday, they served 74 clients, representing households of one to seven people. Another recent Saturday 80 clients shopped at the Pantry. Last week, 3 new families from Lexington came for the first time. The numbers keep creeping up.

 

The Pantry has temporarily relocated to the basement of St. Brigid’s during the period that their regular space is under renovation. The space is smaller but they have adjusted.

 

But due to the move and space constraints Carolyn had to turn down participating in the annual Lexington US Postal Service Food drive in May. Instead, the Lexington Post Office arranged for the food to be donated to another Food bank. Usually this event is the Pantry’s largest food drive and contributes significantly to the Pantry’s inventory of staples. In its absence this year, Carolyn’s supplemental buying has increased a lot in order to keep ahead of demand and have supplies on hand. Additional food donations from Hancock and other sources are especially helpful.  (Hancock has baskets to collect food donations in the Narthex and outside of Clark Hall.)

 

One bright spot is having fresh produce start arriving from Giving Gardens, like the Interfaith Garden, (also supported by Hancock). The numbers cited above illustrate the scope of need.  A volunteer noted that the Pantry has started adding extra tables to accommodate the increase in donated produce that has begun trickling in. (The Interfaith Garden has delivered 100 pounds so far this season.)

 

You can help in a number of ways…no experience needed. Just a willing spirit and smile.

  • Sign up as a Hancock volunteer working on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
  • Drop off food in the collection basket. The bulletin regularly lists the staples that the Pantry is soliciting for distribution.
  • Sign up to volunteer at the Interfaith Garden. For more info, amy.swanson.email@gmail.com