Volunteers make it happen

Molina Mascot

Molina Heathcare volunteers welcome clients at the registration table

Molinda volunteerEach time a distribution rolls around, we know we can count on dozens of volunteers to work together to get the job done. Students, scout troops, corporate volunteers, team members from the Church of the Latter Day Saints and members of the community,  young and old gather on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings to prepare and distribute bags of groceries, bread and pastries to an average of 370 families twice a month.

Thank you to the faithful who make the food pantry a part of your life. It’s a joy to serve our neighbors side by side with you!

Information & services while you wait…

 

IMG_75521
Cornerstone food pantry has grown by leaps and bounds since the doors opened to 36 clients in December, 2008. Now serving nearly 400 families at each distribution, with a reach of about 1,500 individuals, we offer more than a bag of food and a smile.

Our clients arrive early on distribution mornings to draw a number to determine their place in line.Volunteers serve coffee and cake and everyone mingles as they wait for their number to be called. We try to use this time wisely by allowing groups and agencies to present information and services of interest.

At our February 18th distribution, representatives from Community Health of South Florida were on hand to provide blood testing and HIV screening to clients as they waited for their number to be called. They also offered advice and information about health services available to members of our community.

At our next distribution, immigration advisers from Justice for our Neighbors will be offering our clients help with the process and paperwork involved in becoming a citizen.

As we enter our ninth year of serving our community, we look forward to making information and services available to our food pantry families that will improve and enrich their lives.

eggs

Brunch anyone?

Our long-time partnership with Publix provides hundreds of loaves of bread and bakery goods each week. Items nearing their “sell-by” date are collected (Thank you Miriam!) and stored in our freezers until the night before a distribution, when volunteers bag a loaf of bread and a pastry for each family.

This week we received eggs, hundreds of dozens of eggs, with our usual USDA food allotment. We filled our fridge with over 350 dozen eggs and shared the rest with other agencies we partner with.

French toast, cinnamon buns, coffee cake. Sometimes the coincidental randomness of the food we distribute just makes sense.

 

 

Volunteers ham it up in the new year — thanks Aldi USA!

aldi-hams
Partner Aldi USA helped us kick off the new year in style this year with the donation of dozens of spiral cut hams. Every year our partner companies and agencies donate thousands of dollars worth of food that we share with hundreds of clients each week. The number of clients we serve has grown steadily over the years and so has the generous spirit of our partners. We thank them all and wish them a happy and prosperous 2017!

Statistics from our January 7, 2017 distribution:

Contributors
Farm Share $7074 worth of food including 450 frozen chicken, $256 worth of bread and sweets
Publix $500 bread, pastries
Aldi USA $700 Worth of spiral hams
Many Individuals Clothing
Purchases
$80 T-Shirt bags from BJ’s
$100 Bread from Flowers Bakery
Clients and Volunteers
380 Bags of food distributed
380 People picked up food
39 New families registered
1329 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
86 Volunteers participated in distribution activities

 

 

Helping Santa deliver toys and goodies

A message from Ralf Pagan, our resident police officer and his wife Lori, both dedicated food pantry volunteers…

The JOY and kindness of the Food Pantry continued to spread outside of the church’s walls.

The Food Pantry paired up with the COPS for Kids organization and  helped us make our annual Toy Drive fantastic.  As Santa surprised and delighted by delivering toys to homeless children , the  parents received a huge bag of food from the Food Pantry  as well.  The families were shocked to see the generosity and love of Christmas could reach out to them too…in their hour of need.

God is so good, and you are good and faithful servants!    THANK YOU ALL!!!

Merry Christmas!!!
Ralf & Lori Pagan (aka Santa and his helper)

Last 2016 distribution is the biggest yet!!

Saturday, December 17,2016

Clap! Clap! Clap!  And the crowd went wild! Woo Hoo!  We distributed to a record 405 families at this last distribution of 2016.  That’s a record.  And we had 47 volunteers this morning — another record.  We changed lives today.  Thanks to you all!!

Contributors
Farm Share $12,580 worth of food including 550 frozen chicken,$177 worth of bread and sweets
Publix $500 bread, pastries
Branches, Inc $800 Thanksgiving items
Many Individuals Clothing
Purchases
$145.60 Cereal, assorted baking goods, cookies from Feeding South Florida
$48.60 Brown bags from Aldi
Clients and Volunteers
405! People picked up food
810 Bags of food distributed
44 New families registered
1447 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
87! Volunteers participated in distribution activities

Wishing you the blessings of the Christmas season!

Christmas is coming! Share the joy!!

20141219_172008Hark the Herald Angels Sing!  Joy to the World!  Our Savior is born!  It is a time of joy and celebration.  A baby is born in Bethlehem!

Come help us spread the cheer this weekend at our food pantry distribution.  Wear holiday gear – hats, shirts, etc.  Let’s share God’s love once again.

The 2017 calendar is posted on the right.  Share with anyone who may be interested.  All distribution dates are the first and third Saturday of the month except April.  We skip over Easter weekend.

Food Pantry live!

Each Friday afternoon before a scheduled distribution, volunteers gather to fill 250 bags with 10 – 12 individual items and then fill additional bags as needed on Saturday morning.

On Distribution Saturdays volunteers register new clients, check in returning ones, serve coffee, assist with “shopping” and help clients to their cars.

Volunteers are always welcome and donations are greatly appreciated.

Happy Halloween!!!

Hope you give and receive lots of treats – no tricks!  Halloween was my daughter’s favorite holiday.  She loved leaving the house with a big empty bag and returning home with a bag full of candy – more candy than anyone could ever eat – an overabundance of delights.  Her eyes sparkled as she counted and sorted and chewed.

I have seen that same sparkle in the eyes of those who visit our food pantry.  They are excited by the bag filled with food they receive – and the thought that they can prepare a solid dinner for their family – their children.  It is that glimmer of hope and delight that keeps us all volunteering.  We share.  We make a difference! 

Farm Share Pickup

For this distribution we pick up at Farm Share on WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, not the expected Tuesday, Nov. 1.  Farm Share has inventory on Nov. 1 so our pickup day is changed.

Friday Preparation Times

In order to encourage participation from community organizations as well as church members, note that clothes will be put out on tables and pastries/bread bagged beginning at 3:30pm on Friday.  Food bagging starts at 4:30pm.

 

Blessings,
The Food Pantry Team

Happy Summer!!

School’s out!!  Schedules change.  People leave town.

But our food pantry is still picking up donations – attending trainings – filling bags – distributing food and clothing.  Many people are counting on us!  This weekend we’ll be missing 3 key leaders at the pantry.  So if you’re around, please spend some time with us.   You’ll be blessed.

Looking ahead

At our July 9 distribution (yes, we have a break of THREE weeks due to the 4rth of July weekend) we will be re-registering ALL of our clients.  That’s always a challenge, but with all hands on deck we can do it!!

Thank you for your support of our local community food pantry.

Putting monetary donations to good use…

Your contributions to the food pantry are so important – no matter how much – the impact is critical.  Your faithful monetary donations are used to buy discount cereals, cookies, canned goods, etc. from Feeding South Florida – like $60 for 420 big boxes of cereal or $135 for 675 cans of food – now that’s a good deal!   And to purchase supplies like brown paper bags from Aldi’s – 800 are needed on a 2 bag distribution day.  At 6 cents apiece, that’s $48.00.  And let’s not forget –  fuel for our new truck!!

Much of what we distribute is donated, but more is needed to keep our food pantry running.  THANK YOU for your continuous support.

We are touching lives – Making a difference – Blessing so many lives and helping people smile … again!

Spring brings a growing number of clients, plenty of food and awesome volunteers!

before

As the spring days grew longer, so did the lines of people waiting at the gates for our Saturday morning distributions and no one went away empty handed! Our partners showered us with food in April so we had plenty to give and also plenty of people helping make things work smoothly.

Nearly 80 volunteers leant a helping  hand each distribution weekend in April and that’s just counting the ones who remembered sign it. We can’t begin to count the hours our core volunteers spend collecting bread and pastries from Publix and massive grocery donations from Aldi each month but we couldn’t get along without them. We also can’t thank them enough for their commitment.

after

This month we received 13,799 cans of food from Farm Share alone — a backbreaking number that makes us all appreciate our pallet jack a little more. With the help of our band of committed volunteers, we managed to get them bagged up and distributed along with 200 ten pound bags of frozen chicken, hundreds of breads and pastries and many other food items donated by our partners.

In April we averaged of 360 clients at each distribution. When the number of people in each household is tallied, we know that we are reaching almost 1,300 members of our community each weekend.

We couldn’t do it without volunteers! We extend our heartfelt thanks to all who pitch in to make this possible and our welcome to anyone who would like to join us next time.

Many thinks to all!

A little slice of heaven

 

photo0jpgnew

348sYou might have missed friend of the food pantry Debbie’s little key lime outpost on Dixie highway in the past but it’s hard to miss now!

In addition to making the best key lime pie in town and other “Sweet Delights,” Debbie’s mission since leaving the nursing profession and opening her bakery has been to do what she can to give back to the community and make the world a better place. The luscious cakes she donates for our clients to enjoy with their coffee make waiting for the food pantry to open a reason to get up in the morning.

1295762197_nNow, with the help of her friend, local artist Andrea Santi, she’s brought a little slice of Wynwood’s flair to Goulds!

Sometimes all it takes is a pop of color on a busy street or a community food pantry where everyone is welcomed with a smile to make a community a little brighter.

 

Stocking pantries, sharing love!

Chicken, potatoes, canned veggies and cookies! Our latest Saturday morning distribution offered a mixed bag, actually two nice, full bags, of staples items and goodies that will reach the tables of the over 350 families who visited our food pantry on March 19.

The allotment of food we receive from our local Farm Share Food Bank, which consists of federally funded,  USDA supplied canned, dry and frozen commodities earmarked to supplement the diets of the needy, currently provides us with enough food to serve 400 families twice monthly. This allows us to assemble generous bags of grocery items for our clients.

Our food pantry also has access to Feeding South Florida’s Agency Express Marketplace which enables us to purchase supplemental food products from their inventory at bargain prices. This allows us to stretch our donated funds to  include cereal bars and an occasional bag of cookies for a treat.

If you  would like to share the joy of helping others, join us for our Friday afternoon assembly sessions or Saturday morning distributions — volunteers are warmly welcomed!

March 19 statistics

Contributors

Farm Share 5716 cans of food + 200 10# bags of frozen chicken + 400 5# bags of potatoes
Publix $350 bread items
Sweet Delights Cake served to clients with their coffee
Clothing Many individuals

Clients and Volunteers

353 People picked up a bag of food
22 New clients
1261 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
76 Volunteers participated in distribution activities

Hats off to our clients and volunteers!

 There’s rarely a dull moment at our Saturday morning distribution and today was no exception. Our clothing donation driven  “shopping department” took on the look of an old-time emporium thanks to an anonymous donation of fine ladies hats. A good time was had by all and many of our clients will be sporting fancy new Easter bonnets this year.

Our clients love browsing our selection of gently used clothing and housewares each week — thank you all for your donations!!

February’s off to a good start!

The mystery is settled.  The answer is clear.  Punxutawney Phil and his groundhog friends have declared an early spring for 2016!  This is a big relief to our neighbors to the north – for us, not so much.  We dedicate our distribution this weekend to Phil and all his hard work.  For the 4rth week in a row we will be providing our clients with 2 big bags of food and a bag of pastries.  That’s definitely something to get excited about.

Hope you can join us this weekend – many hands are needed to prepare and distribute.  You will be blessed!

Statistics from our January 23 distribution:

Contributors:

Farm Share 7032 cans of food and 420 bags of fresh apples
Aldi’s $1000 meat, yogurt, etc
Publix $350 bread items
Branches Publix Gift Cards $1250
Clothing Many individuals

Clients and Volunteers

322 People picked up a bag of food
32 New clients
1438 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
81 Volunteers participated in distribution activities

Cornerstone Food Pantry brings magic to our community

It was another unbelievable Saturday morning at Cornerstone Church. Lots of people travel 240 miles to Orlando and pay $100 a person to feel the magic at Disney Land.  I guarantee there was magic abounding at the food pantry today – and it’s close – and free!

Thanks to those who carefully put meat or pastries in plastic bags, poured a tired woman a cup of coffee, filled bags to overflowing, chatted with a client as they carried her bags to a car parked way out on the grass, consoled at the prayer table, helped a man pick out some clothes for his daughter, rushed to get more bags ready for the next in line, registered a deaf man who turned 52 today, got the news from a returning client, etc etc.  There was magic in the air.

Below are the statistics from our Jan. 9 distribution:

Contributers:
Farm Share $5816 worth of food
Aldi’s $500 meat, etc
Publix 450 bread & bakery items
Clothing Many individuals
Clients and Volunteers
346!! People picked up a bag of food
1034 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
52 New clients
91 Volunteers participated in distribution activities; including AGAIN Boy Scout Troop 314       and missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints!

And we were able to share food with the Silver Palm UMC food pantry.  Pastor Diane came to pick up 4 different items to distribute at their pantry.

Happy New Year!!

Cornerstone Food Pantry is entering its 8th year of reaching out to those who are struggling in our community – thanks to our many partnerships in the community and to our many volunteers – including you!  Help us continue giving and sharing and making a difference to our neighbors.

Contributors:

Farm Share $15,000 worth of food including frozen chicken and gala apples
Aldi’s Meat ($500 value)
Publix 450 bread items
Clothing Many individuals!

Clients and Volunteers

330 People picked up a bag of food
64 New clients
1232 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
100+ Volunteers participated in distribution activities including Boy Scout Troop 314 and missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints!

Merry Christmas to all!!

This is our Christmas distribution weekend.  How about we all wear our Christmas gear – shirts, hats, scarfs, earrings, etc.?  Everyone practice saying, Ho Ho Ho!

Our next distribution is in 3 weeks on January 9. Our 2016 calendar is posted on the right.  The first Saturday for January and July is a problem for participation – one is New Year’s weekend; the other 4th of July.  Also, January and July have 5 Saturdays which makes it easy to move distribution to the 2nd and 4th Saturday for those weekends. All other months distribution remains on the 1st and 3rd Saturday.

Help is needed!!!!  Please come and serve!!!  You will be blessed.

Blessings,
Linda and Miriam

 

Helping stock pantries for Christmas…

We had a great turnout at Saturday’s distribution in spite of an unusually rainy start to the Christmas season. Bags overflowed with staple items and goodies alike.

Our USDA allotment from Farm Share was unusually generous and included items that will enhance the holiday cooking in many households. In addition to boxes of raisins and bags of dried cherries, we received vegetable oil for the first time.

A BIG thank you to Boy Scout Troop 314.  They have been a consistent presence for the preparation and distribution activities of the food pantry.  We appreciate their loyal partnership with our food pantry and their commitment to making a difference in our community!

Contributors:

Farm Share 7351 pounds of food worth $12,866
Aldi’s 100 meat, bread, cheese, milk items
Publix 450 bread items
Sweet Delights Cake to serve clients with their coffee
Clothing Many individuals!

Clients and Volunteers

284!!! People picked up a bag of food
34 New clients
1013 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
64 Volunteers participated in distribution activities; including Boy Scout Troop 314.