The mission of the St. Thomas' Food Pantry is to address hunger, loneliness, and neglect in our city by providing our neighbors with nutritious food, positive social interactions, and educational information focusing on healthy lifestyles.
Update on the St. Thomas' Food Pantry - May 2021, from Program Manager, Liz Pearce
The COVID-19 pandemic brought thousands of new guests to our doors, and with the help and support of our volunteer community, we met the need. We did not close our doors at any time, and everyone who needed help received food. Here are a few notable numbers:
We distributed groceries to 34,459 individuals in 2020, which is a substantial increase from a total of 12,777 individuals in 2019.
Each household received 30+ pounds of food each week, and often included essential items such as masks, hand sanitizer and of course, toilet paper.
More than 200 volunteers unloaded delivery trucks, packed bags and handed out food. Our parish hall became a distribution center.
It has been quite a journey, and without each and every person, we wouldn't be able to do what we do. You have given the Food Pantry your time, your donations, your home-made masks, the bounty of your garden, your recycled grocery bags and hundreds of other gifts. We wouldn't have made it this far without you, and we aren't stopping now. We have so much hope in our hearts, thanks to all of you!
FOOD PANTRY RESPONSE TO COVID-19
In light of concerns about COVID-19, our pantry will remain open on Thursdays, but we will be offering a modified experience that includes recommended social distancing, instead of our typical "pop-up market" set up.
Pre-packed bags will be given out on Thursdays between 2:30 and 5:00 pm. If guests are in cars, they should enter the driveway and pull their car around to the parking lot side of the church, and groceries will be brought out to the car. If guests are walking, groceries will be brought to the Parish Hall door.
Thank you for your understanding and commitment to the wellness of our community.
For information about our Food Pantry or to leave a message call: 804-321-9548. This line can be reached at any time and lists our hours, directions, requirements, weather advisories, or allows you to leave a message. A valid form of ID is helpful, but not required.
Volunteer Opportunities - Please email Volunteer Coordinator, Kristin Cummings (KECummings7@gmail.com)
As a mainly volunteer-run organization, St. Thomas depends on volunteer help throughout each week. In response to COVID-19, our volunteer needs have been modified to follow CDC guidelines, as well as best practices indicated by the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Each volunteer will be required to sign a waiver prior to volunteering at the St. Thomas' Food Pantry, stating that they have not traveled within the past two weeks, and that they are not exhibiting symptoms of illness. In addition, we ask that all volunteers follow our Healthy Volunteer Guidelines.
Picking up donated food at Food Lion - Volunteers will pick-up food, document the weight and put away the items our storage rooms. Certain Tuesdays and Thursdays at Food Lion, Azalea Brook Hill, 11:30 am. Takes about one hour.
Pre-packing bags for guests - Volunteers will pack available inventory into grocery bags. Wednesdays at 10 am and 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 10 am and Noon.
Inventory Management at St. Thomas' - Restocking items, counting totals, organizing the storage area. Varies.
Distribution Day - Volunteers will set up tables, chairs, manage inventory, restock shelves and place bags in cars. Thursdays at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
Food Rescue and Storage - Volunteers will help unload a delivery truck and store it our storage rooms. Volunteers must be able to lift boxes. Wednesdays at 7:00 am.
To volunteer for any of these opportunities, please email Kristin Cummings, KECummings7@gmail.com, or call 804-321-9548.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Application, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call toll-free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.