Missionary Baptist – Food Pantry (2021)
Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, WI) 21 Apr 2021
In the pandemic year of 2020, the Greenwood Missionary Baptist Food Pantry handed out more than 51,000 pounds of food to 139 families. Those numbers hopefully will come down as immunizations grow and people get back to work, but the pantry is still prepared for whatever may come.
Already this year, according to pantry director Janette Schultz, 178 people from 55 different families have taken almost 11,000 pounds of free food home with them. Business has been steady, Schultz said, and with the majority of supplies coming from Feed My People in Eau Claire, the shelves have been staying stocked.
The pantry got a new look for its most recent open date on April 7. A $1,000 grant from the Clark County Community Foundation paid for an interior remodeling project in the pantry in the Missionary Baptist Church on the north end of Greenwood’s Main Street. That renovation created more space to allow pantry volunteers to more easily store and access food.
““Right now, our cabbage is under the table,” Schultz said as she prepared to rearrange items in the increased space. “It’s always been really difficult to handle our fresh produce. This is just going to be fantastic.”
Greenwood’s community pantry has been housed in the Missionary Baptist Church since it moved down the street from the former City Hall basement several years ago. Since then, the pantry has expanded in space and scope, and saw one of its busiest times as families struggled with COVID-19 job losses. No matter how many came, though, Schultz said there was food for them, Feed My People provides the bulk of the food for Greenwood. Its truck stops by twice a month, on the day before the pantry’s twice-monthly open hours (usually on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 2-5:30 p.m.). Every two weeks, Schultz checks the inventory and lets Feed My People know what is needed.
“I look at what’s on the shelves and I have to place an order,” she said. “It’s like grocery shopping.”
In addition to non-perishable canned and packaged items, Feed My People brings frozen meat and meal products, and fresh produce. Schultz said at any given time the pantry may have fresh bananas, oranges, radishes, onions, cauliflower, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers and other items.
The pantry also receives regular deliveries of baked goods and pastries from the Greenwood Kwik Trip. Three times every week, Kwik Trip clears its shelves of dated items and gives them to the pantry.
“It’s still good. It’s just that they’re not supposed to sell it anymore,” Schultz said.
The pantry is also supported by some local food donations, as well as financial gifts. With the cash, the pantry buys items it might not otherwise be able to get.
Schultz said some local companies made donations last year in lieu of having employee holiday parties during the pandemic. That helped keep donations steady in a time when other donors could not afford to help or normal collections such as the annual Boy Scout food drive could not be held.
“They (donations) stayed about the same or they might have went up a little bit,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the pantry does not plan to expand its stocks despite the newly added space.
“We’re keeping it about the same,” she said of inventories. “We’re trying to expand a little more into the personal care products.”
Schultz said she expects the need for the pantry will dip a bit this year, as the pandemic wanes and people return to work. For those who need it still, the doors will be open.
“We’re here to help the people during the time they need it,” she said. “The donations coming in and the food going out is pretty much keeping up.”
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