How to Start a Food Pantry: How to Run & Organize a Church Food Pantry

January 5, 2011 No Comment

Food pantries are food storage facilities. These are mostly operated to distribute food among poverty-stricken people and families by private operators. Food pantries are usually sponsored by charity, non-profit organizations, government organizations and church congregations. Food pantry business is mostly a non-profit venture which is operated for the sake of community service. You must know how to proceed before you plan to enter into the business. Here are some tips to be followed.

How Do I Start a Food Pantry?

  • Identify a location where your food pantry would be based. While determining the site, you have to take care that it matches the guidelines prescribed by the Department of Agriculture for the distribution of TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) supplies. It should also meet the requirements of the local health department and the fire safety standards.
  • Create a committed plan. Getting an elaborate feeding plan is highly desirable for the success of a food pantry business.
    The plan should be mission-based and it should concentrate on various community services. As part of the plan, you are required to establish relationship in order to work in coordination with government resources and community groups.
  • Study the feasibility of the business. You can do it by researching the areas for which your service would be offered. You can take the help of census track or Metropolitan Statistical Information for the purpose of getting relevant information. Different faith-based associations which are attached with community needs can also help you in your research works.

How to Run a Food Pantry?

Running a food pantry may require you to display high level of management skills. You must formulate a method needed for the fulfillment of the food orders. The best way to distribute food is to get a questionnaire filled out by the recipients. The questionnaire may seek information regarding the numbers of the family members of the recipients, the number of minors living together and other important information.

How to Organize a Food Pantry at Church?

  • Various resources are required to organize a food pantry. To start a food pantry at church, you require to take approval from your priest.
  • If your food pantry business is a nonprofit venture, you require to work in cooperation with manufacturers, grocers and vendors of your locality. You can find these resources through marketing.
  • You can also get in touch with the corporate headquarters of any store in order to get the required resources. You can also approach to “Feeding America”, the prime national distributor of food in the USA.
  • Your other options rest with private donors and farms. You can resource huge annual grants from scores of donors and farms which are located in your area. These resources would enrich your food pantry venture and take it to great success.

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