‘Their need for food does not end’

YPATT pantry will host its next monthly drive on Oct. 20

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Courtesy of YPATT
The Mullica Hill pantry serves families from the township and neighboring residents and is based out of Trinity United Methodist Church.

Your Place at the Table (YPATT) will have its latest monthly drive on Friday, Oct. 20, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

The Mullica Hill pantry serves families from the township and neighboring residents with donations from the community. Based out of Trinity United Methodist Church, the its mission is “to touch, nourish, and empower the lives of people needing a little extra assistance and care,” according to Content Coordinator Alicia DiFabio.

YPATT was started in 2012 by Kristen and Mark Skrobanek and their two sons, Clayton and Benjamin, who teamed with church members to donate food.

“I thought that I would have a good feeling after we drove off, but all I could think was, ‘What are they going to do next month?'” Kristen Skrobanek recalled of the pantry idea. “Their need for food does not end with our one box.”

After that epiphany, Skrobanek went to the church’s pastor, who loved the idea. That led to the formation of YPATT and its official nonprofit status.

“The name was chosen due to its double meaning,” Skrobanek explained. “It can mean your place to help serve others, or it could be your place to be served.”

According to DiFabio, YPATT has helped feed more than 500 families in the last five years and has expanded into South Harrison, Mantua, East Greenwich and Elk Township. It has also partnered with several local businesses and groups who provide donations of their own. They include Cake Boutique, the Harrison House Diner, the Women’s Club of Mullica Hill, the Harrison Township school district and the Mullica Hill ShopRite, to name a few.

The pantry has also received support from Mayor Louis Manzo, Mullica Hill officials, the township’s recreation commission and its Rotary Club.

“It’s more than just the food,” Skrobanek emphasized. “We first offer a loving environment when they (recipients) walk through the doors. We call them by name, not a number. We are a safe place for them to talk or just get away from their home life for some time.

“This, to me, is one of the most important parts of our program,’ she added, “having a personal connection and letting them know that we care. We may not be able to change their situation, but we can certainly listen and offer our support through a hug or a prayer.”

People can drop off and pick up items at the YPATT bin by the front doors of the church on Cedar Road. Glass cannot be donated. Items most needed are boxed mashed potatoes; white rice; canned fruit, specifically peaches and pineapples; canned vegetables, such as peas, green beans and corn; creamy peanut butter; applesauce; cereal other than Cheerios; shampoo; conditioner and dish soap.

Those in need can contact YPATT at (609) 202-0015. To volunteer, visit the YPATT website for information.

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