The food pantry at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Dover has been serving the community for years, so many years that coordinator Kathy Lessard has lost count, but she knows it’s been more than 40 years.
The pantry is now located in an easily accessible building situated behind the church and rectory; Kathy says it was once a carriage house. Nevertheless, it’s larger than many food pantries, and easily accommodates the volunteers who fill bags for local families.
Holy Cross is one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s network of 575 partners that provide food services to more than 117,000 food insecure Delawareans.
On a sunny winter afternoon, John, a long-time volunteer was pleased to be setting up tables just outside the door with boxes of fresh produce, including bagged salads and avocadoes. The produce is donated through the generosity of the local Food Lion’s Sister Share program.
The shelves are well stocked, thanks to a recent food drive led by a Boy Scout troop affiliated with the church.
“We are 100 percent volunteer,” Kathy said, adding that a volunteer pool of about 30 lightens the load for everyone. “It makes the jobs smaller, so we’re not biting off too much for anyone.”
Volunteers pack the food bags based on family size so that large families are equally served.
“If we have cookies or baked goods, we try to put in treats for the kids,” she added. The bags frequently contain diapers, for those who need them, as well as personal hygiene items, when they are available.
In addition to regular distributions every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, Holy Cross offers special holiday meals at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. This church also sponsors a prison ministry, a house for former offenders, and provides food for those men as well.
Thank you, Holy Cross, for your commitment to a community free of hunger!
Interested in learning more about becoming a partner of the Food Bank of Delaware? Click here to learn more.