|Lexington Food Pantry|
The Social Action Ministry at First Parish has supported the Lexington Interfaith Food pantry for more than eight years. .
This essential program, housed in the basement of the Church of Our Redeemer, has been active in Lexington for more than 25 years. Initiated by the Lexington Council of Churches in 1990. The first coordinator of the program was Frances Wortman, the mother of Carolyn Wortman who took over the helm more than 15 years ago ..All of staff are unpaid volunteers, including Carolyn, who skillfully coordinates the entire operation.
The need for nutritious food products has grown enormously in recent years to more than 70 families per week who benefit from having available non perishable as well as fresh produce that the Pantry offers every Saturday morning.
Financial eligibility of the shoppers at the Pantry has been determined and certified by the Lexington Department of Social Services.
The demographics for shoppers are largely the elderly, individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, low income families with children, and people with medical or mental health issues. Lexington residents as well as some residents of Winchester and Lincoln (nearby towns with out a food pantry ) are the beneficiaries of this service.
Fresh produce, in season, has been in abundant supply and a mainstay part of the offerings of the Pantry. . The fresh produce is donated each week by our own Interfaith Community Garden, unclaimed CSA produce from two local farms and overflow from the Boston area Gleaners .As we enter the Fall and Winter season, we know that these fresh items will soon no longer be available. Many will need be purchased with monies donated by the community. Also,whatever food items that are not donated in kind ,will need to be purchased in bulk by Ms.Wortman each week.
Thus, financial donations from Lexington's community members is very much needed as well as the ongoing donations of non perishable food items. We encourage our First Parish members to continue to give generously in both these areas.
Our food collection bin is located just outside Russ Graham's office at the church. I will leave an envelope with Russ in the office for any financial donations that you may want to give to the Pantry.
Once a year, our Social Action Ministry donates the "Sunday Offertory Plate" to the Pantry. This year, the collection will take place on a particular Sunday in March in conjunction with our annual Personal Care Items Drive. This drive will go on throughout the entire month of March. Soaps, shampoos, dental care products, lotions and the like are items requested.These items are not covered by the Federal Food Stamp programs, and are most welcomed by the Pantry shoppers
You will hear about that drive in the coming months.
Our Annual Day of Service each June offers an opportunity for a team of volunteers from First Parish to spend a Saturday morning actually working at the Pantry to experience a typical Saturday shopping day. We plan to offer this opportunity again this year .
Lynne Yansen will continue to be the liaison from the Social Action Ministry to the Food Pantry and welcomes anyone interested to participate by helping on a regular basis or occasionally as time allows.
Thanks as always for your support!!