Our mode of distribution has also changed in recent years. For many years, the food pantry provided pre-packed bags of food for our neighbors. In 2018, the change was made to a choice pantry. In this model, neighbors are able to shop from available food, to better meet their needs and preferences. A choice pantry also gives us more opportunities to form relationships with our neighbors. While our neighbors wait to shop, a full breakfast is offered, and on any given Second Saturday, you will see neighbors and volunteers visiting over around tables while they eat.
A high percentage of neighbors coming to the food pantry in recent years have been seniors. In 2018, we began an additional program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which is specifically for qualified seniors 60 years and older. CSFP provides a supplemental box filled with food with senior dietary needs in mind—such as low-sodium canned vegetables and sugar-free canned fruit.
As a TEFAP and CSFP pantry, we are able to better serve and meet the needs of the community. With the help of FeedMore, food and monetary donations from Tabernacle’s congregation, and special collections from the Richmond Concert Band and the community, we are actively participating in feeding those in need. This is what Jesus called us to do—to actively participate and engage in the lives of others, especially those in need.
The food pantry cannot be present and make a difference in the lives of our neighbors without help. There are many ways to serve within the Tabernacle Community Ministry; signup on the event calendar to volunteer your time. Donations are also appreciated; you can find a list of current needs at the top of this page.
As we continue to transition and grow, please pray for this ministry and the community it serves.