The day we visited, we helped stock shelves and subdivided a huge bag of gleaned bagels. We also interviewed Alice Heun, Pantry Director, who told us some of the things that make this pantry special:
- The pantry always has a good variety and choice of food and other items, due in part to the ample space to stock non-perishable items.
- Individual churches donate special items such as jelly, pancake mix &syrup, feminine hygiene products, and diapers. They also donate cash, which the pantry uses to purchase fresh items.
- Each client shops with a laminated shopping list designed by a nutritionist for the size of family they're feeding. Categories on the shopping list correspond to color-coded shelves (i.e., green for fruits and vegetables, red for protein, yellow for grains and pasta, and blue for personal items). This helps ensure that each client receives a fair share and a balanced selection of nutritious food. Here's an example:
- Children age 5 and under can choose a book to take home each month. The books come from NY Yankee shortstop
Derek Jeter's foundation, called Turn 2. The goal of the Turn 2 Foundation is "To create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and TURN2 healthy lifestyles."
- The volunteers are always loving, cheerful, and respectful. "Each client who comes through that door is Christ," she said.