Through the first eight months of 2018, the First Congregational Church of Akron (First Church) Food Pantry ministry has distributed more than 66,600 meals to those in need. This is nearly 25,000 more meals distributed than during the same period last year, and on track to easily break the 2017 yearly record of 70,000 meals.
The ministry provides weekly distribution of groceries to local people in need – individuals and families of varying sizes and backgrounds – every Tuesday morning. People experiencing food insecurity are permitted to visit once per calendar month and receive food for nine meals per family member.
According to Senior Minister Nanette Pitt, “This distribution of food is one way to reduce food insecurity in our community, and we are grateful for the support we have received from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and other community organizations such as Walmart, Panera, Giant Eagle and Acme. We are blessed to be able to add fresh produce to this weekly offering from our Feed My Sheep Garden, which harvested nearly 1,700 pounds of produce last year as a part of our Food Justice priority.”
Church members Clay and Debbie Canfield oversee the 63 volunteers that support the First Church Food Pantry effort. “Our volunteers have donated nearly 2,500 hours in 2018 alone to helping those in our community. This Food Pantry is designed to allow clients the ability to choose their desired items,” said Clay Canfield. “We are thankful to be a part of such an important program in our community.”
Support for the First Church Food Pantry comes from grants, government funding and donations from church members and the general public. The First Church Food Pantry welcomes new volunteers who are available on Monday and/or Tuesday mornings. To contribute to the Food Pantry, to become a volunteer, or for more information on the program, call the First Church office at (330) 253-5109 or visit www.akronfcc.org/service-justice/food-pantry.