Millsboro church pantry helps neighbors who need food for their family
May 30, 2023
Considering its off-the-beaten path location between Millsboro and Oak Orchard, the food pantry at the Millsboro Seventh Day Adventist Church gets quite a bit of traffic: they serve neighbors in need of food. Peggy Sampson, one of the pantry’s three co-leaders, says this pantry feeds at least 150 families each month.
The pantry, is just one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s partner agencies, and this relationship has been on-going for nearly 30 years – since 1995, Sampson believes. Leaders reach out by providing a neatly hand-printed schedule each month as a reminder of the dates and hours: it’s open from 7 – 11 a.m. on the first and third Thursday of the month. Due to increased need, hours expanded to noon to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays. People can also get food from 2-4 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.
Neighbors who need food know they can pick up a pre-packed bag. “I try to pack for a week,” said Sampson, who explains the contents are based on family size. The bags contain shelf-stable foods, and meat for those who need it. After picking up a bag, neighbors may go into the adjacent church hall to pick up donated bread and bakery items as well as fresh produce – when it’s available. Like most pantries, fresh vegetables and fruits are often scarce.
This pantry is supported by retail donations from Fresh Market near Rehoboth Beach as well as the Fenwick Island Food Lion. A separate team of church-based volunteers pick up food from those generous donors, then bring it back to the pantry.
Church volunteers also make a Sabbath dinner each Saturday, and neighbors are invited to join in that meal.
“We see families from Millsboro, Georgetown, Laurel, and even Kent County, Lewes, and Rehoboth. It’s a mixture. We see retired senior citizens and families with children,” said Sampson.
While most people don’t share their problems or personal situations, they have one thing in common. “They mainly just say they need food,” Sampson said.