Independent Presbyterian Church
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Food Pantry


Social Services Ministry:
The Community Ministries Department at IPC has a Social Services account from which we offer assistance with people in need to help pay utility bills and buy prescription medications.
In addition, we have a Food Pantry at IPC from which we provide groceries to families in need. 
How can IPC members help with the Social Services Ministry?

• Financial contributions are always needed for the Social Services account.  Tax-deductible checks can be made out to “IPC Social Services.”

• The IPC Food Pantry:
We ask that you please bring non-perishable food items to the IPC Food Pantry.  Baskets are scattered around the church where you can leave your donations.  There are suggestions for food items to buy each week in The Window and the Update and E-Update.  Each fall, we have the Harvest for Hunger Food drive when we have a special call for members to bring food to the church to stock the pantry shelves for the holiday season, but hunger never takes a holiday and food donations are always needed!  You can also contribute money to IPC Social Services and mark it “Food Pantry,” and we can use your money to buy food vouchers from Christian Service Mission for needy families.
 When you come to church, please remember the Food Pantry. 
A special thanks to all who have helped keep our Food Pantry stocked.  We have seen an increase in food assistance requests, and it is gratifying to see how our congregation readily reaches out to those in need. A recipient is limited to two trips to the food pantry per year so you can see that the need is widespread. 
         It is our goal to see that each food assistance client has a bag of staples from our Food Pantry in addition to a $30 voucher to Christian Service Mission for two boxes which includes frozen meats and other frozen items and a 2nd box of non-refrigerated food. 
         With summer approaching, we are trying to plan for keeping our food pantry well stocked.  Instead of using the specific food of the week approach, we will target a different food group each week for four weeks and then repeat the cycle.  In the process, we will provide shopping tips that we hope will be healthful. 
 Each week at IPC, we hope to acquire a month’s supply of: 
WEEK 1 ~ Protein rich foods such as canned chicken, tuna, or salmon; peanut butter (jelly); hearty canned (beef, chicken, bean) soups and/or stews.  [We like to provide 2-3 of these items per bag.]
WEEK 2 ~ Fiber-filled grains such as whole-grain dried cereals (including oatmeal) and snack foods such as whole-grain crackers (e.g. Triscuits) and popcorn.  We also need refined pasta, rice, grits, and graham and/or saltine crackers. (Please, small boxes of crackers.)  [We try to provide 2 types of cereal along with rice, pasta and one type of cracker or popcorn in each bag.]
WEEK 3 ~ Vitamin-packed canned veggies, legumes (beans and peas), and tomato based pasta sauce.  (We hope to pack pasta sauce, a can of legumes along with 2 other veggies.)
WEEK 4 ~ Energizing canned fruit (including applesauce) or individual boxes of dried fruits. (We like to pack 2 or 3 of these items per bag.)

Things we can always use: The Food Pantry can always use basic grocery items ~ peanut butter and jelly, crackers, cereal, grits, oatmeal, nutrition bars, soups, canned fruits, canned vegetables, milk [canned or dry], canned meats [tuna, chicken, salmon], canned chili, packages of macaroni & cheese.
Some things we cannot use: opened packages and home-canned items. Also, we really cannot use commercial sizes [No. 10 cans of fruits or vegetables and 10 pound bags of items.  Just think BASIC ~ Some items are hard to give away such as exotic coffees and teas, and left-over holiday candy.  Also, we only distribute food for people:  no pet food. A better place for donated pet food is an animal rescue organization.

• Office Help: We can always use help around our office: answering the phone as people call in to make appointments for financial and food assistance; or putting bags of groceries together for families to take home.
For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Rev. Susan Clayton  or Annette Carter at or (205) 933-3725.