The Abundant Food Pantry
The Abundant Food Pantry was created and implemented on May 1, 2007. Initially it began as a ministry to our own church family, of which at the time, many were out of work and struggling financially. It was a way to help out with food, toiletries, and clothing for the adults and kids. Families were able to visit the pantry privately and take whatever they needed. At the time we only had a small food pantry comprised of six shelves of non-perishable food items. Today we have fifty-five shelves of non-perishable food and three refrigerators as we now provide fresh food as well as non-perishable food items, toiletries and clothing.
Soon word got out to the community. The local schools had families in need and sent them our way. The residents at Trestle Way, a large elderly residence here in Georgetown, heard about us and folks began to trickle in. Residents in the surrounding communities such as Rowley, Boxford, and Groveland, also utilize the pantry. Any fresh food that is left over at the end of the day is donated to local farms to feed their animals.
Currently we service approximately 110 to 125 families monthly. We are open every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until 12 noon.
We are supported in part by NLCC but depend largely on outside donations. Traders Joes in Danvers donates fresh food to us every Sunday, which we pick up and deliver to church, where it is sorted and stored for distribution on Tuesdays. Also, every Tuesday morning we pick up a donation of fresh fruits, vegetables and day old bread and pastry from Crosby’s Market here in Georgetown. The local schools, girl scouts and boy scouts have had food drives for us throughout the year. Once a year the Post Office in Georgetown and Topsfield do a food drive, called “Stamp Out Hunger”, where the postman collects groceries from the local residents on their mail run. The donations from the Topsfield post office is picked up by us and the donations from the Georgetown post office is dropped off at the church. We then sort the non-perishable food by item and check all the expiration dates to insure no outdated food is distributed. This food drive generally takes place in the first week of May.
We also have a network of people in the community that have been strong supporters for us for many years. These folks support us mainly during the holidays and often throughout the year. The community has also been instrumental in donating clothing, coats, footwear and household items. Our clients are free to shop from these donations. It’s been a blessing to be able to provide these items to folks that need them.
During the Easter holiday we provide our clients with a ham or a Market Basket gift certificate to purchase a ham. On Thanksgiving we provide all the food for a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas we focus on the kids. We receive a wish list of gift items from the children’s parents and do our best to fill that list. The gifts are bundled and given to the parents the Tuesday before Christmas.
We invite our clients to attend church service and activities as well as bible studies. We are comfortable and open to sit with our clients just to talk over a cup of coffee, share what’s on our hearts and provide fellowship. We also offer emotional support and prayer to anyone who needs to talk or share what’s going on in their life. We sit with each client privately and present the Gospel message to them.
We currently have six dedicated volunteers working in the pantry. We work on Sundays before church service and every Tuesday. During the holidays and throughout the year we work as needed to get the job done!
We have never turned anyone away from the pantry and since inception we have never run out of food! God is a good provider for all the pantry needs.
Our hope and prayer is to bring these people to know our Lord and Savior and to feed their hearts and souls as well as their bodies.