Let’s start the St. Paul’s Food Pantry May update with a few spectacular statistics from 2023:

Throughout the year, TWELVE VOLUNTEERS represented the ministry of St. Paul’s in our community outreach.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of local organizations, our congregation and a generous farmer in the community, we gave out TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS in ShopRite gift cards.

We distributed THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND POUNDS of food. I’ll let that number sink in – 36,000 pounds. That’s 18 tons of food, or over 40,000 meals to the families we serve in our community.

The food we provide to our pantry clients comes from a variety of sources. As a participant in the Food Bank of South Jersey, we receive a monthly allotment of goods from the USDA, the State Food Purchase Program, and additional food donated directly to the Food Bank for distribution to its pantries.

We also receive non-perishables from food drives organized by local groups and companies in our community and direct donations from our parishioners. Periodically, we need to purchase additional items for distribution, and your generous donations help cover those costs.

One additional source that we’re very excited about is the Retail Rescue Program, where volunteers from our pantry go to local stores to pick up unsold goods. We’ve sourced donations in a similar manner the past few years from Big Lots and ShopRite. We’re looking to expand our participation with additional stores as we move forward in 2024. There will be more to come on Retail Rescue in our next update.

As I wrap up this month’s update, I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to the volunteers who are our boots-on-the-ground. The crew shows up with smiles to unload and put away pallets of food, to pack bags on a Tuesday before distribution, and even when they arrive early every second and fourth Wednesday morning to distribute the food. They are wonderful, and their hard work makes it possible to serve so many in the community.

I’m proud of our service to the community and grateful to everyone in the church family who has given his/her time, provided funding, and donated food.

Carol Strock


© 2017- St. Paul's United Methodist Church, West Deptford, NJ