ST. MARTINS PANTRY PROGRAM

Thank you for your generosity!

"If you can't feed a hundred people then just feed one."

~St. Mother Teresa~ 

29 June Pantry Report

With your help we distributed about 2.41 tons of non-perishable food and about the same weight of perishable food (bread and pastries, fresh vegetables and fruit, etc. – primarily donated by local stores) to 256 families in the week ending this past Monday, 29 June.  Thank you! 

This completed our 2019-2020 fiscal year.  The impact of COVID-19 since mid-March has made this fiscal year the fourth busiest of our 28 years of operation. Thanks to COVID-19, from January to June we served an average of 225.08 families per week, our highest number ever for that period.   From late March through June we served on average 255 to 257 families per week.

CURRENT SHORTAGES:  In immediate short supply:  baby formula (Similac blue is most requested), No. 5 pampers, and peanut butter and jelly.  Needed for 13 July: dry unsweetened cereal.  Needed for 20 July: above plus canned fruit and dry rice/dry beans.  Needed for 27 July: above plus canned soup, pasta sauce, pasta, canned vegetables, and ramen/dry soup.   

Plastic grocery bags and plastic newspaper bags are still needed.  Many thanks for the great donations of paper bags – we now have enough for six weeks or more.  The most useful bags you are supplying are the approx. 16.5 inch by one foot by seven inch bags used by Trader Joe’s and others.  (Handles not necessary.)

The above needs are based on our current “best guess” of receiving up to 270 families each week.

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TEMPORARY COVID-19-RELATED CHANGES IN THE PANTRY DISTRIBUTION

St. Martin’s Pantry distribution remains every Monday, but food distribution will begin at 6am.  Clients present will be required to maintain six feet distance from each other, and will be called up individually to receive food at a table in front of the Pantry entrance.  As supplies permit, each client should receive the normal bag of non-perishable food, plus one or more bags of bread, pastries, and fresh produce.  Ground coffee may be available if desired.  We regret other choices or exchanges will normally not be possible.

NOTE: The Pantry will normally close promptly at 1pm.  Food distribution after that time may not be possible. 

These changes are expected to continue in effect as long as the COVID-19 pandemic prevents public mass and the school remains closed.

FOOD DONATIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Food donations are critical to keeping the Pantry in operation.  (See “What to Donate” below.)  However, due to government restrictions which have closed the church office, donations should be dropped off during Pantry working hours:  Fridays 9:30am to 1pm, Sundays 2-5pm and Mondays 6:30am to 1pm. 

FOOD DISTRIBUTION 

St. Martin’s Pantry distributes food every Monday throughout the year,

including holidays, with rare exceptions (see note below).  We begin with the 

distribution of numbers for places in line, starting when we open about 

5:45 am Monday morning.  Distribution of food takes place beginning at 10 am.

Closing time is 11:30 am, however, when there are clients still in line at 

11:30 am, the Pantry begins to close when the last person in line is served.  

PLEASE NOTE: In case of heavy snow or an especially severe storm late Sunday

and/or early Monday, the distribution may be cancelled. (This has occurred 

perhaps six  times since 1992.)   

 

FOOD DONATIONS 

Have a food donation to drop off at the Pantry?  Weather permitting, the Pantry crew is on duty in the Pantry Building

(directly behind St. Martin's Church use the door facing Summit Ave closer to the church) Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm, 

Mondays from 6 am until after 1 pm  (please come before 9:45 am or after 12:30 pm to avoid the distribution itself) and Fridays from about 9:40 am to 1 pm.  At other times, food may be dropped off at St. Martin’s Church Office (north of the Church on Rt. 355 - 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 5 pm weekdays.) 

 

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE FOOD OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, OFFICE OR PANTRY/ANNEX - even though local wildlife may appreciate it.

                                                            WHAT TO DONATE 

                                                                                  All of the following are needed for our regular food distribution: canned

                                                                                  soup, pasta sauce, pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna, canned beans, 

                                                                                  boxed macaroni & cheese, dried potatoes, dried rice, dried beans, 

                                                                                  canned fruit, dried soup, unsweetened breakfast cereal, cooking oil up to 

                                                                                  14oz bottles, peanut butter & jelly, cookies and crackers, powdered milk, 

                                                                                  potatoes, apples, oranges, personal hygiene products and paper products,

                                                                                  Numbers 1 and 2 baby food, and baby formula (please, no larger than

                                                                                  one pound package to facilitate distribution), and disposable diapers

                                                                                  especially sizes 5 and 6. 

 

Donating fresh bread or produce?  Try to leave it with us Friday morning or Sunday afternoon so as to keep it as fresh as possible for the Monday morning distribution.  Do NOT leave it outside unattended – even though local wildlife will appreciate it, however we cannot distribute it after they have sampled it!

 

Frozen and refrigerated food donations must NOT be left unattended.  If they thaw or warm up we must trash the.   Bring them during Pantry operating hours or make special arrangements with us to insure required preservation.

 

Please limit Food unit/Can sizes!  Note that a large number of our clients walk or travel by bus to the Pantry, and thus 

are limited in respect to how much they can carry away.  Further, very large cans and packages do not fit in the grocery 

bags we prepare for the clients.  With the Lord’s Table closed for the near future, we MAY be able to pass such items to Nourish Now or Manna, but cannot use them ourselves.  Certain large items (e.g.: CostCo size pancake mix and syrup) –we can save a limited number for the Boy Scout breakfast.

 

Very large boxes or bags of cereal make sense for a large family, however we cannot normally split them up.  If you can 

provide a larger number of smaller boxes of cereal, you will help us to help more families. 

 

We can split up large bags of rice and a few other items, such as tea bags, but for the most part large cans, boxes and 

other large containers are not suitable for our distribution.  Cases of regular-size cans are very useful but please avoid the largest unit sizes. 

WHAT NOT TO DONATE: 

The above list gives items we need for the weekly food distribution.  Donations at times include a much wider variety of items, however.  Please note items which we do not distribute:  non-commercial packaged or home-canned items (unless the source is well known to us); dented cans; opened items; alcoholic beverages; prescription or over-the-counter medicines; “non-perishable” food past its expiration date (although we can pass on not-too-far expired items to other programs that can use them); Insect sprays and poisons, Pet food – any turning up in our distribution is passed on to the Humane Society or animal rescue organizations; and candy, as the basic goal of the program is nutrition (except for items appropriate for clients’ young children present at the distribution).

   

VOLUNTEERS - ADULTS 

We desperately need adult help working inside the Pantry Friday and Monday 

mornings, and Sunday afternoons (as well as infrequent other special days).  

However adults require clearance through the Archdiocesan Virtus (child 

protection) Program before they start.  Some may already have this clearance 

through working with other programs.  In this case, come in and see us! 

If not, contact the Church Office for the procedure and required forms.  

The forms and procedure are also available from the Pantry during our 

working hours on the above three days.   -- Help with donation pickup may

also be needed – Virtus clearance not required but some physical strength

and a large vehicle could be useful.

 

 

 

VOLUNTEERS – HIGH SCHOOL 

For student service in the Pantry:  High School students are welcome, may come by themselves, and do not require 

Virtus clearance (but have to fill out the Archdiocesan volunteer form),  Public school students should check with their counselor to verify whether pre-clearance of Pantry service is necessary to receive credit from their school. PLEASE NOTE:  STUDENTS BELOW HIGHSCHOOL LEVEL MAY VOLUNTEER IN THE PANTRY ONLY WITH AN ACCOMPANYING VIRTUS-CLEARED PARENT (see above for the clearance process).  

 

Students may have requirements from their schools for school recognition of service.  Montgomery County Public 

School students may be required to get service at the Pantry pre-approved –their counselors can provide information in  this regard.  

Contact Us: 301-990-3203 • Fax: 301-990-7538