Food Pantry: Emmanuel’s Table

Food Pantry: Emmanuel’s Table

Summer Donation Drive

The food pantry needs your help so that we can stock our shelves and keep helping the community.

Since school is out and kids no longer have access to free/reduced breakfasts and lunches, the number of families we’re serving is increasing. It’s been said that hunger doesn’t take a vacation!

Cash donations are extremely important so that we can continue to help everyone who comes to us each Tuesday. Having cash vs. food donations allows us to purchase food for the pantry from our partner, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, at an incredibly discounted price — which stretches each dollar into more food.

Donations may be sent via check made out to Emmanuel Church to Emmanuel Episcopal Church 122 E. Court St. Woodstock, VA 22664 or dropped off Tuesdays during pantry hours. (Be sure to note that the donation is for the food pantry.) All donations are tax deductible. If you need a form for tax purposes, please let us know when making your donation.

Sharing with others that we are in need of donations is appreciated!

Food Pantry Hours

We are open every Tuesday, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to serve the community. In the case of inclement weather, if county schools close we do as well. We are located at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, downstairs through the far left door. (We kindly ask that you do not park in the rector’s space. She is known to come and go while serving our congregation, so it is important her space is available at all times.)

They cOME and the Lord provides

Most Tuesday mornings, folks are waiting when we open the doors and a steady stream continues through the morning. We serve anyone in need of food assistance. There are no income requirements — We only ask that clients truly be in need and provide basic information. That way, we can best serve the community and continue our association with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

We typically serve around 50 households representing about 150 individuals each week. The number continues to rise since we opened in 2017. Fortunately, through generous donations our shelves are fully stocked and (especially in the summer) multiple buckets line the hallway with fresh produce.  

Meet The People we serve

Many are grandparents caring for grandchildren. Others are single parents, elderly couples or families with young children. Many have serious infirmities or are caring for someone who does. It’s unfortunately obvious that some have been caught up in the opioid crisis.  Many with obvious physical ailments can barely make it up and down the stairs unaided. Most appear tired. We rarely hear expressions of bitterness or impatience or irritability—instead, we hear repeated gratitude.  Several give us a hug and a kiss. 

We are getting to know so many who benefit from this ministry, yet we are the ones being ministered to!

It’s a community effort

The Pantry is run entirely through volunteer workers and donations. We are always looking for folks who are willing to help unload and repackage weekly deliveries on Monday afternoons at 3 p.m. or assist with giving out food on Tuesdays. Whether you’re retired, have a day off from work or are a student looking to help the community, we would love to have you help. Volunteers don’t have to come every week, we have a rotating schedule based on availability. We only ask that you be reliable and stick to your commitment as the Pantry is run each week by a limited amount of people. If you’re interested in helping, please see the volunteer info below.

The Pantry is funded entirely by generous donations from our congregations and the community. 

Immediate needs of Emmanuel’s Table

The Pantry is run entirely through church support, volunteer workers and generous donations.  Check out the info below to see where you may be able to help. If you’re interested in helping or would like more info, please contact us. 

1. VOLUNTEERS

Whether you’re retired, have a day off from work or are a student (age 13+) looking to do community service, we would love the extra hands. Families and groups are welcome! Volunteers don’t have to come every week as we have a rotating schedule based on availability. We only ask that you be reliable and stick to your commitment as the Pantry is staffed weekly by a limited number of people. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out and return the volunteer application. Download If you have questions, contact us.

a. Tuesday workers.  There are typically four of us working Tuesdays. A person designated as greeter (plus general problem solver and go-fer) is a necessity to help streamline the day and more importantly to have the time to “come alongside” our guests, most of whom respond readily to someone who has time to listen. The others help people to get food along with other general duties.

b. Unloading and repackaging help. Typically unloading the week’s haul is timed to coincide with the end of Monday’s Bible study at 3 p.m. We can always use another set of hands.

2. DONATIONS

a. Money for food. Our best source for food remains the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.  Everything they offer is far less expensive than big box retail, often only a few cents a case.  For example, 8 jars of 48 oz. cinnamon applesauce cost $1.30.  Spicy breaded chicken filets cost $1.66 for six 5 pound bags.  There are often unusual and fun offerings too, like twelve 17.6 oz jars of salsa for 65 cents.  All  fresh produce is given to us at no cost. So, we can really make monetary donations stretch to serve the most people. However,  we also welcome donations of nonperishable foods if you’re cleaning out your pantry.

Donations may be sent via check made out to Emmanuel Church to Emmanuel Episcopal Church 122 E. Court St. Woodstock, VA 22664. (Be sure to note that the donation is for the food pantry.) Food items may be dropped off at the church office downstairs during open hours, Mondays during unloading or Tuesdays when the pantry is open. 

b. Other items. When they are able, Family Promise donates toilet paper.  After being approached by a congregant, a local dentist donated several boxes of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. Often congregants drop off assorted food items, tote bags, and other useful items. These are all invaluable and we welcome donations like these.

c. Gardens’ bounty. If you have extra fruits and veggies, bring it on! Delivering your produce around 3 p.m. Monday or before 9 a.m. Tuesday would be ideal. But whatever you can whenever you can would be much appreciated. Be sure to let us know if we can pick it up.

3. Remember this is our lord’s table

a. Talk to God about those who come to the pantry, about those who serve in the pantry, about the needs aforementioned.

b. Be God’s hands and feet.  It’s our privilege and honor to serve God in this way.

c. Thank God. We attest to God’s faithfulness in all aspects of Emmanuel’s Table, especially Tuesdays. God has promised and been faithful.

Beyond Tuesdays

Pantry guests are invited to come to church and participate in other parish activities, such as our Thanksgiving meal at Emmanuel and (free) community lunch every second Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Andrew’s. Of course, everyone is always welcome to come to one of our Sunday services! There is no pressure to take part in these events — everyone is always welcomed, served and treated kindly at the pantry.