In its five-year history, Milton Community Food Pantry has helped serve 450,000 meals to needy families and individuals.
For the 50 dedicated volunteers of the pantry, serving the community is all in a day’s work. On June 17, 245 people, including 70 families, came to pick up meals, a far cry from when the pantry began in 2014 and served only nine people.
The pantry was started by Goshen United Methodist Church, which teamed with nine other area churches to provide food to people who need it. Every Monday from 10 a.m. to noon, cars pack the tiny parking lot at Goshen Hall on Federal Street to pick up bags of food.
President Barbara Wright, who has been working at the pantry since June 2014, said all items are 100 percent donated, through donated items or monetary donations, used to buy more food to stock the pantry. The pantry also provides bags.
Almost everything is available: canned goods, vegetables, breads, spaghetti, meats, soups - even diapers. When asked what doesn’t the pantry have, Wright cracked, “A bigger room.”
“If you use it at your house, we can use it,” she said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s laundry detergent. Dog food. Books. We take everything.”
Wright said any excess food left over on Mondays is donated to Casa San Francisco on Broad Street.
“Nothing goes to waste,” Wright said.
Wright said the pantry helps people subsidize their budget by giving out three days of meals. The pantry passes out chicken donated by Mountaire Farms of Delaware, and Food Lion in Milton gives packaged meats.
“From June 2014 to now we have packaged enough food for 450,000 people,” Wright said.
One of the longest-running visitors is Brenda Moffett of Lincoln, who has been coming since the pantry opened. She said she found out about the pantry through word of mouth.
“They do a very good job. You couldn’t ask for better people. I love all of them. They’re like family,” she said.
Donations may be made in person at 114 Federal St. or via mail at P.O. Box 84 in Milton.