First Baptist Church of Moorestown (FBCM) will hold two drives this summer for its food pantry and it is asking the community to donate nonperishable items, including breakfast and dinner items, canned or jarred fruit and personal hygiene items.
Joy Faxon, donations co-coordinator, explained that besides residents, other organizations who donate to the pantry include the township’s elementary schools, South Valley and Mary Roberts, the Boy Scouts, Moorestown’s First United Methodist Church and Sovereign Grace Church in Marlton.
“… Now that COVID has wound down, we’re not getting the donations … We used to get a lot of money donations as well as a lot of other donations,” Faxon said.
FBCM is asking parishioners to donate each Sunday in July. Its food pantry serves about 160 and 260 people a week and is open Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Nonperishable items offered include meats, pasta, fruit, canned vegetables, rice, drinks and oatmeal, and perishables such as diapers, baby wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo and conditioner.
“It may look full at this point, but if we didn’t get any more donations, it would be gone in three weeks, and some of these items would be gone long before that,” Faxon said of the pantry’s stock room.
“We really depend on donations, and the schools donate in the wintertime, but when school is out, we don’t get the donations monthly from South Valley and Mary Roberts School.”
Shopping and stocking volunteer John Forte emphasized how Moorestown’s community pitches in to help those in need.
“ … The Mary Roberts School, the last donation in June, they showed up with a full-size pickup with an 8-foot bed loaded with food sticking out the top, and they had a couple of bags even inside the truck itself,” Forte said. “It’s things like this that keep us going.
“ … I take my hat off to many of the parents in this town,” he added. “They have been generous … I believe it’s people doing the right thing for the right reason.”
Rev. Linda Pepe praised the efforts of church volunteers.
“Nearly everyone at the church is involved in the ministry in some capacity, whether physically volunteering, donating, or working behind the scenes,” she noted. “At times, they (volunteers) get tired or frustrated (and) they worry about where the food donations will come from, but they continually focus on pantry guests, making sure all who walk through the doors are treated with dignity, acceptance and love.”
FBCM’s food drives will take place on July 30 and Aug. 27 from 8 to 11 a.m. at 19 West Main St., in the church parking lot. A “blessing box” at the front entrance of the church is always stocked with nonperishable food items for anyone to take or add to.
For more information on the food pantry, call (856) 235-1180.