The Cornerstone Food Pantry, formerly the Perrine Food Pantry, first opened its doors on a Saturday morning in December of 2008, when a group of Perrine-Peters United Methodist Church (now Cornerstone Church) member volunteers prepared and distributed 36 bags of food to the needy.
Since then, the Food Pantry, has become a vital part of the Perrine/Palmetto Bay community.
We currently distribute at least 300 bags of food on the first and third Saturday of each month which reach over 900 individuals. We also collect gently used clothing, shoes and household items and invite our clients to “shop” for useful items at no cost at each Distribution Saturday.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals and families who are food insecure in America. The national average of food insecure children is 1 in 5. In South Florida, it’s a staggering 1 in 4.
Among those who visit the Cornerstone Food Pantry, we see low-income and single-parent families who struggle to pay for shelter, utilities and childcare while providing food for their children. We also see older adults who are not only supporting their children, but their grandchildren as well. We serve a small number of veterans, physically and mentally disabled persons and homeless people – all as grateful for the kindness as the assistance.
The process of obtaining, assembling and distributing food is a labor of love performed by church members and community volunteers.
Each Tuesday before a distribution we receive a delivery of USDA-provided food and additional grocery items from the Farm Share Food Bank. Volunteers meet to unload the truck and organize and store the delivered goods.
The Friday afternoon before our scheduled distributions, 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.
Cornerstone Food Pantry is a partner agency of Farm Share of Florida. Farm Share administers a combination of USDA commodity programs and produce recovery operations and works with local non-profit organizations and community groups to help feed the nearly one million South Floridians in need of food assistance.
Cornerstone Food Pantry funding comes through individual donations, grants, and relationships with area schools, food stores and businesses.
Volunteers are always welcome and donations are greatly appreciated.