November 27, 2012
The Lord's Pantry provides not only food assistance to almost 800 families a month but does it in a way that always honors the dignity of those who need the services. The level of organization in that process is at the highest level. Volunteers are trained in food handling protocals for repackaging fresh foods or shelf life of donated food to be stocked. When clients receive their food, they use a shopping cart and, with a volunteer, select from categorical areas for both canned or dry staples as well as "healthy choice" selections that include milk, two fresh meats, a fresh fruit and vegetable. Addtionally, clients may select eggs, sliced cheese and margerine. Fresh breads and desserts, additional meats, cheeses and other items donated by local grocers are available and are picked up by volunteers, date checked and stocked. When it was determined that bananas often became over-ripe and might be wasted, a volunteer printed a recipe for banana bread using those bananas and on an on-going basis, packages ziplock bags of the dry ingredients for making banana bread. Similarly, in the summer when fresh produce is abundant and brought from local gardens, nursing students demonstrate how to cook delicious dishes using fresh vegetables, provide the clients with the recipe and a bag of the ingredients to cook them at home. Counselling services are also offered by knowledgeable volunteers in additonal services available to clients of which they might otherwise be unaware, such as energy assistance, job counselling, food stamps, and medical clinics, to mention only a few. Throughout the year there are additional special distributions to clients, some of which include, Easter, cold and flu, back to school, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The building that houses all these services is mortgage free and ALL involved in providing the services, including the directors, are volunteers. I can not imagine a better organization or a better mission.
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