Local Food Pantry fills an important need

Image: Local residents joyfully follow Christ’s command to feed his sheep by helping at the Italy Food Pantry.

Local residents joyfully follow Christ’s command to feed his sheep by helping at the Italy Food Pantry.

For the last ten years, families have been coming to the Italy Food Pantry twice each month to receive groceries to supplement their food needs. As the need grew, so did the number of families the pantry services. It takes $1,000 or more each month to pay for the food, utilities, insurance and miscellaneous expenses such as paper bags and tape. Several churches in the Italy Ministerial Alliance donate funds each month. Private donations also help with expenses also.

At present the pantry serves between 75 and 80 families twice each month. The Food Pantry is located at 405 W. Mosley (Hwy 77) and is open the first and third Monday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Since there are no paid employees, the staff consists entirely of volunteers.

“The Italy Food Pantry exists for the communities of Italy, Forreston, Avalon and Milford,” said Director Susan Wooten. “Our purpose is to supplement the family food budget and to help families stretch their food dollars.”

To receive food from the pantry, one must bring proof of residency and fill out necessary forms. They may do this during Pantry hours.

The Pantry provides basic, nutritious items such as canned vegetables and fruit, dried peas and beans, rice and pasta, peanut butter and soups.

“Not all items are available all the time such as canned or frozen meats. When funds are available fresh produce is purchased for holidays. We have wonderful families, some of whom need a little help now and then as well as families who desperately need our help to feed their families,” said Wooten.

“The Lord has put our little service agency in place with great volunteers with a heart for service and love of others. We look forward to seeing what miracles the Lord works every week. I am very proud of our donors and our volunteer staff. It is a true blessing to be a part of this community ministry and everyone in Italy is invited to contribute and participate in the Food Pantry ministry.”

Funds that are donated each month are used to purchase food from the North Texas Food Bank. Here are some examples of the cost of items from the NTFB:

Eggs – 46 cents per dozen
Peanut Butter – 16 cents per jar
Green Beans – 25 cents per can
Dry Pinto Beans – 26 cents per package
Dry Spaghetti – 29 cents per package
Dry Cereal – 30 cents per box
Tuna – 21 cents per can
Peaches – 15 cents per can

Donations are accepted for the Italy Food Panty at Central Baptist Church. In order for the pantry to continue to bless families with food, help from the community is needed. No donation is too small. Donations of cornbread mix, gravy mixes and crackers are also welcome and appreciated – they help stretch the food dollar and give a family options with different foods.

To volunteer for the pantry, contact Susan Wooten at 972-483-7474.