Atonement Food Pantry
Coordinate: Patricia Marshall
End of year Report Form for Fiscal Year 2018
Chair/President: Patricia Marshall
2018 was a great year for the Atonement Food Pantry. In our second full year of service, we provided over 29,000lbs. of food to those seeking emergency food assistance in our surrounding community. As in 2017, the food we distributed included meats, some dairy items, nonperishables, and farm fresh produce. Contributions from parishioners have continued to be robust and help us to better manage expenses. On average, we served 75 individuals and their families monthly. If you add the family members of our registered shoppers, we served well over 100 people monthly. Our budget was $10,000 in 2018. Hunger or food insufficiency is not to be viewed in a vacuum. Many of our shopping guests are not just hungry, and in 2018, we continued to offer gently used clothing and books. With the support of the St. Helene’s Guild, we now offer toiletries. Our cooperation with the Atonement Young Adult Employment Ministry (“AYAEM”) continued as a number of our food pantry guests participated in AYAEM sessions, securing employment opportunities in the end. In the summer of 2018, the food pantry took to the road, setting up produce tables at the Atonement Community Health Awareness Day held at JC Nalle Elementary School. While we had much to celebrate in 2018, we still have a few challenges to overcome. First, we received a 72% Wellness Score for the Partners for Wellness Program through the Capital Area Food Bank, which is less than our Wellness Score in 2017. We need a 75% or higher Wellness Score on our purchases to be considered A Partner For Wellness, which would afford us grant money, a new refrigerator or freezer, and other partner benefits. A 72% score means we need to improve our food offerings to include more nutritious foods – less sodium, less added sugars, and more fresh produce. We need to STEP UP OUR WELLNESS GAME ATONEMENT!
Despite our successes and challenges, 2019 offers more opportunities to expand the food pantry ministry. We will begin to offer food demonstrations, so to assist our guests in learning how to prepare nutritious dishes from our more unique pantry offerings. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and contributors! We cannot make it work without your time, energy, or support.