The Pantry has been in operation for over 30 years. Its organizers recognized that food insecurity is widespread and, for many families, chronic. The goal of the Pantry is to alleviate food insecurity, and the hunger and distress which result. The Pantry, which started in a closet in the pastor’s office, is housed in a room at the back of the Church.
The Pantry serves, on average, approximately 200 families each month, representing a total of nearly 650 people per month. Participating families fill bags with groceries (the number is determined by family size), as well as frozen meat, fish and poultry; fresh bread and bakery products; household sundries; and personal care items. During summer school vacation period, bags of child-friendly supplemental groceries (i.e., peanut butter, jelly, sliced bread, canned tuna, mayonnaise, cold cereal, shelf stable milk, juice, cookies) are provided to families with children. In a typical year, the pantry provides approximately 8,000 units of service, as defined by the NYS Department of Health Office of Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance.
Each year, the Pantry sponsors community supported holiday food basket drives, which provide a generous holiday meal, and substantial additional groceries for the following days, to approximately 225 families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. At Christmas, an age appropriate gift is provided to each child in sponsored families. In addition, at Christmas the Pantry partners with a local small business to provide bags of groceries and personal care items to approximately 90 single agricultural workers living in the Pine Island area.
The Pantry serves hungry people who reside in the Town of Warwick New York. The only criterion required for an individual or family to receive assistance is demonstration of residence within the Town of Warwick, coupled with self-assessment of need. There is no other requirement to obtain service. The Pantry does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability or handicap, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran, nor does it require participation in religious prayer, services, ceremony, education, consultation or training, or participation in any religious event.