“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in…” Matthew 25:35
The food pantry ministry of Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC) has been in operation for many years, functioning in a variety of ways. It began over twenty years ago as an effort to provide food to a handful of families in the Stephens City area. This food was separated and delivered to approximately eight to twelve families once a month. When the ladies that provided this service gave it up, it then varied from food being passed out by the secretary as people came in and requested it, to another person taking it over and handing out food on a weekly basis, but still on a small scale basis.
In more recent years, the ministry has expanded dramatically by opening its doors to not only those living in the Stephens City area, but also to those in Frederick County, Winchester, and Front Royal. For many years, the pantry was open for monthly evening hours as well, but we currently have daytime hours only.
Since the pandemic, our operation has changed significantly. We primarily serve people on Tuesdays from 11 am through 2 pm in the back church parking lot, but we also make some home deliveries throughout the week to clients who are homebound. Families are invited to come only one time per month.
Utilizing a drive-thru style, boxes and bags of items are placed by volunteers into the vehicles of clients. Items given out can include frozen meats, chilled dairy products, canned and boxed goods, fresh produce, pet food, and cleaning and hygiene items. The U.S. government provides much of what we are able to give, but purchases are also made by volunteers and donated by area businesses. We have recently seen a dramatic increase in families utilizing our pantry each week. Previously, we served 15 or 20 families per week; now we serve upwards of 40-50 families per week.
There are approximately 30 volunteers who help on a regular basis, allowing the food pantry to operate efficiently. Jobs include upkeep of the computer database of client information, intake of clients (including various paperwork and follow-up,) purchasing meats and cleaning items, doing the pick-up run and stocking food, separating/organizing food items within our pantry, and distribution (both at the church drive-thru and direct deliveries to clients’ homes.)
One of Christ’s strongest messages calls us to feed the hungry and help the poor, and the SCUMC food pantry is a specific response to that call.
Contact the Food Pantry.