Neighborhood

Food pantry

2nd and 4th Monday

5:30-6:30 pm

Feeding hungry people seems like such a natural thing for a church to do. Hungry people come to church to be fed spiritually. Hungry people should be able to come to church to be fed physically too. That’s why St. Augustine’s has a Neighborhood Food Pantry!

We know that there are too many in our community who simply don’t have enough food. We also know that it's often those with low-paying jobs, who don’t qualify for emergency assistance, and struggle to feed their families and pay their bills.  This food pantry was created for them. 

Here's how it works

Stop by

We don't require registration, proof of need, or proof of income: no questions asked.  If someone comes, they must be hungry.

choose your food

Our shelves are open and anyone is welcome to come and choose for themselves the food they want.  We don't pre-bag and hand out our food. 

It's your choice.

take your food home

After you choose what you want, you're free to go home.  For those who need help carrying their bags to their vehicle, we are happy to help you!

choice is important

We want our neighbors to have the dignity of shopping for themselves.  Freedom of choice also means we give away food more wisely and without waste.  If one of our neighbors just doesn’t like canned beets, we don’t hand them canned beets- it's that simple.  Someone else will like them and will take them if they want to.  Our selection of food also varies, and is different from week to week.

Where does the food come from?

Supporting our neighbors

We buy our food from two sources: Second Harvest Gleaners, and Feeding America Food Bank.

 

Second Harvest Gleaners is a distributor of surplus food. We order from their stock every week, knowing that their stock changes every week. This allows our neighbors to select our items at no cost and use their grocery money for other things at the store.

The food we buy from Feeding America Food Bank is purchased for a maximum of 16 cents per pound. Those are huge savings over grocery store prices. A box of cereal costs us 15 cents instead of 3 or 4 dollars. A jar of peanut butter might be a quarter instead of 2 dollars. We fund our pantry from our church budget, but we gladly accept direct monetary contributions to our account with Gleaners. Direct monetary contributions to Gleaners also come with generous tax benefits for those who choose to donate. Please contact the parish office to find out more.

Does our Neighborhood Food Pantry make a difference? Absolutely! Many of our neighbors come every time we’re open, while others come once in a while as they need the help. A few come only once. 

 

We remember when once, a troubled looking woman came through our door. She was driving by with her husband and five kids when she saw our “pantry open” sign. She asked what she needed to do to qualify to use our pantry. One of our parishioners looked at her, smiled, and said, “You don’t need to do anything.  Here’s a couple empty bags.  Take what you need.” You could see a huge weight was lifted from her shoulders, and she and her husband chose what they needed and went on their way. We haven’t seen them since, but we know that we could be a blessing to that family that day.

If you’re interested in helping out or using our Neighborhood Food Pantry, please visit us, call the church office, or send an email. We welcome you!

see you there!

(269) 925-2670

office@staugustinebh.com

1753 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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