CLARKSBORO — In May of 2023, St. Peter’s Community Pantry was born, after replacing another pantry which was no longer sustainable. At that time, about 15 Gloucester County families were receiving a small bag of groceries once each month.
This past month on Nov. 25, St. Peter’s Community Pantry reached out to families with a post-holiday cart full of food. Included in that cart was their usual grocery order of shelf staple foods as well as milk, eggs, margarine, meats, vegetables and fruit, breads and rolls and sweet treats. There was also a turkey or chicken and the sides to make a splendid post-holiday meal.
It was decided not to change the usual food distribution day of the fourth Saturday of the month with the concern that some people would not get the information and would come to find the Pantry closed.
We are amazed and grateful to be reaching an additional 70 or more families each month that are food insecure. This achievement has not happened in such a short amount of time without the complete support and involvement of the Gloucester County Community.
The post-holiday meals were a result of the extraordinary efforts of both individuals and community groups. One woman canvassed her neighborhood, arriving at the Pantry with an SUV filled to the brim with donations.
Both the Girl Scouts and the Cub Scouts from East Greenwich held food drives in their respective areas and as a result, brought over 40 bags of food to us. During our monthly food drive, vans, cars, and trucks arrived bearing bag after bag of items to be distributed.
Individuals arrived carrying turkeys to be donated. Last, but certainly not least, was the Putrano Soccer Club of Washington Township who donated 40 full turkey dinners with all the trimmings.
To have this level of support, encouragement, and consideration by so many, is truly inspiring to those of us involved in St. Peter’s Community Pantry. We began this endeavor with high expectations, but also knowing that there was the possibility that the community would not embrace our efforts.
Thanks to all of those who have made donations of their time, talent, or treasures to assure the success of St. Peter’s Community Pantry. You are appreciated.