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Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving we give thanks. We eat a lot and we give thanks. Thanks for our family, for our friends, for all our blessings. We consider our life as compared to many here and abroad who are suffering, struggling. And we give thanks.

Through our food pantry we strive to make a difference to those who are suffering and struggling – to make a difference where we live. This happens because of our contributors and volunteers.

Nov. 21 distribution statistics…

The first is a list of groups/individuals and their donations. With each partner, there is a story. With each group, there is a connection. Often the connection is you – the volunteer. Sometimes it’s a professional relationship (requiring paper work). For others, well, they just heard we give stuff to people in need and they have something they’d like to share – through us. We give thanks to our contributors.

The second statistics tally our clients and volunteers. Each volunteer and client has a story about how they became connected to the pantry. We treasure our relationship with you. We give thanks to you!

Contributors:

Farm Share 3120 non-perishable USDA items
Aldi’s 30 meat, produce
Publix 450 bread items
Sweet Delights Cake to serve clients with their coffee
Branches 1000 non-perishable items – Thanksgiving donations excess
Boy Scouts Troop 314 Clothing – 15 sorted, labeled boxes
Whispering Pines Woman’s Club 100 pasta and other canned goods
Cornerstone Preschool 100 pasta
Miami Dade Police Dept. 50 loaves of bread
Somerset Academy 1000 stuffing, potatoes, paper goods, past, canned goods
Janis 200 bars of homemade soaps

Clients and Volunteers

326!!! People picked up a bag of food
60 New clients
1095 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
78 Volunteers participated in distribution activities; including Boy Scout Troop 314.

THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS to all!

Linda Burton – 305.632.9794
Miriam Bigenho at 305.233.7457.

Cornerstone Food Pantry continues to grow!

Prepping 20 more bagsRegistering new clientsSaturday, November 7 — Distribution this morning was amazing thanks to all of you!  Lots of contributions from our community partners.  And so many clients who came to our door.  Each family received a large paper bag of food – a plastic bag with pastry and bread – and a cloth bag with chicken or other meat and graham crackers. Five tables were filled with clothes – only one small bag remained.  The prayer table was busy.  And the coffee was flowing! 

Our food pantry is a growing ministry.  We need YOU!  Come be a vehicle of hope in our community.  Contact Linda Burton – 305.632.9794 or Miriam Bigenho at 305.233.7457.

Contributers:
Farm Share Non-perishable USDA food allotment
Pnecrest Academy 5,000 assorted cans
Aldi’s 100 bread & bakery items; snack chips, frozen meat – 40 packages
Publix 450 bread & bakery items
Sweet Delights Cake to serve clients with their coffee
Clients and Volunteers
307!!! People picked up a bag of food
1056 Individuals benefited from the bag of food
59 New clients
65 Volunteers participated in distribution activities

 

Help us share the bounty!

We are distributing  this Saturday!  Food has been coming in from Aldi’s, Pinecrest Academy, Publix, Big Lots, and Farm Share.  Come and help us distribute the bounty to our neighbors in need.

There were over 280 who came to our last distribution.  Your help is needed to make the process run smoothly!  Bring a friend.

First Farm Share USDA delivery

Hi Team –

This is the first week we will be receiving USDA donations from Farm Share.  It all begins tomorrow!  Stephen Zarnecki will rent a truck and travel down to the Farm Share warehouse in Homestead.  He will arrive back at the church about 10:15am tomorrow morning.  We expect about two pallets of food.  This process will be repeated on the Tuesday before each distribution.  If you are available to unload the truck, let us know.

October is a 5 Saturday month, so we have a 3 week break after this week’s distribution.  Don’t worry you will receive a reminder!

Join the fun at our community food pantry – bring a friend.

Many are depending on the food, the clothing, and the smiles they will enjoy at our food pantry.  Come.  Share.  Be a blessing.

~ Linda and Miriam

 

The New Cornerstone Food Pantry Celebration and Distribution Weekend

The time has come.  We are ONE!  Welcome to The New Cornerstone Food Pantry.

In July, Cutler Ridge UMC and Perrine Peters UMC merged.  There was an established food pantry at each site.  Our combined Food Pantry Team has been working diligently to combine our efforts and finally we are ready to operate One food pantry.  The distribution will be at the Perrine Peters UMC site until renovations have been completed at Cutler Ridge UMC.  The distributions will be on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month; with preparation on the Friday before.  All partnerships with both food pantries will continue.

Come and celebrate and distribute with us this weekend.  At 5:30 PM, after the preparation on Friday, all volunteers are invited to stay or come and enjoy light refreshments and cake.  We will have a short, mandatory Civil Rights training in compliance with Farm Share requirements; then talk about food pantry activities and memories.  I hope everyone can come at 5:30 to celebrate. 

September is Hunger awareness Month.  Since the principal at Cutler Ridge Elementary has supported our food pantry in the past, she reached out to organize a food drive.  They decided to collect pasta.  Kevin and Tom went to their satellite school at Assurant; Jan, Howard, Jane, and Linda went to CRE; together.  We collected 512 boxes of pasta!  Some of the children said – “we’re learning about the poor people who live in our community” as they placed their pasta in our crates.  Your food pantry is having an impact in ways we can’t even imagine!

We also received donations from Commissioner Levine-Cava’s office today.  Her community liaison, Rick Morgan, has driven by the Cutler Ridge food pantry in the past, spoken to Miriam, and thought of her when they had extra food at a recent event.  Everyone finds great joy in giving!

Information from the September 19 Distribution
201     People picked up a bag of food
668     Individuals benefited from the bag of food
62       Volunteers participated in distribution activities
156     Volunteer hours were logged

Volunteer groups
Boy Scout troop 314

Contributors:
Feeding South Florida        non-perishable USDA, 216 hams
Aldi’s                                      400 bread
Sweet Delights                     cake

Thank you for your passion to make a difference where you live!
~ Linda and Miriam

Two local schools hold pasta drives to benefit Cornerstone Food Pantry during Hunger Awareness Month

pasta2September is Feeding Amerca’s Hunger Awareness Month. All month long the national food bank and its member food pantries join together in asking everyone in America to fight hunger. Last Friday, Cornerstone volunteers teamed up with two local elementary schools holding pasta drives to benefit our food pantry.

pasa3The students and PTA at Assurant Satellite Learning Center held a Hunger Action Initiative Pasta Drive. Tom and Kevin were there to help as students exchanged boxes of pasta for tickets they could use to “buy” goodies at the school’s PTA Goody Box.
At Cutler Ridge Elementary, Linda, Jane, Jan and Howard were on hand to help collect pasta and hand out “Panther Bucks,” the school’s reward currency, to participating students.

pasta1At both schools, students took the campaign’s TURN ORANGE FOR HUNGER initiative to heart, wearing orange and doing their part to help fight hunger in our community.

Altogether, we collected over 500 boxes of pasta – enough to include in our client’s grocery bags for two distributions!

 

USDA allocation changes create urgent need for volunteers, drivers & trucks!

It is official The contracts have been signed. As of October the Florida Department of Agriculture has decided to allocate USDA foods through Feeding South Florida for Broward and Palm Beach Counties and Farm Share for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Our food pantry will receive USDA only through Farm Share. We have an application pending with Farm Share and a meeting planned for later this week. Hopefully, Farm Share will accept us as an agency and we can move forward in preparing for this change.

If/when we are accepted by Farm Share, both food pantries will come to the US1 location (until the Old Cutler location is completed). Distribution is planned for the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month – from 7:30am to 9:30am with preparation on Friday late afternoon. The same schedule as we are now following. We expect more clients.

Another change is that we will have to pick up our USDA food at the Farm Share in Homestead. The pickup days are yet to be determined. We are looking at our options: volunteers with trucks, purchase a truck, purchase a trailer. We are exploring grants or corporate donations as ways to purchase the truck or trailer. If you have any connections, resources, ideas, please share. Thank you to those who have already responded!

FSF will deliver USDA food through the end of September. In October, they continue to deliver only food that is ordered through Agency Express. If food is ordered, we get a delivery, but not as much. We will have to see how this plays out.

Our community food pantry is important to those in need. All of us our committed to continuing this service. Thank you for your love and support!

Busy times ahead — trucks and drivers needed!

Thank you for your participation at our community food pantry. At the last distribution 177 clients were re-registered. The process continues on Saturday! This is always a busy time – we hope you can be there to help make it all go smoothly.

Also, as we are changing over to Farm Share for our USDA food donations, our food will no longer be delivered to the church. We will have to go to Farm Share in Homestead to pick it up. We need trucks and drivers! If you have access to a pick-up truck and can drive on a weekday morning to Farm Share, please call or text Linda 305-632-9794!

Cornerstone Church

Exciting news!  Perrine Peters UMC has officially merged with Cutler Ridge UMC.  We are now Cornerstone Church.  For the next year or so our congregation will be worshipping at the US1 site (Perrine Peters).  After the renovations to Cutler Ridge UMC at 20740 Old Cutler Rd., we will be meeting at that site.  Both locations currently have a food pantry which will be merged sometime in the future.  There are many details which must be worked out.  But we will definitely continue to be a presence in our community.

For the near future we are distributing as usual.

Summer distribution schedule changes

If at all possible we need you to participate in the Friday night distribution preparation from 4:30-6:00.  Many of our regular volunteers will not be on hand.  Please consider coming down to the church to fill bags and lay out the clothes!  It would also be great to see you on Saturday morning.

We are still packing our bags to the brim with donations from Publix and deliveries from Feeding South Florida.  Debbie has her oven’s fired up to bake cakes to serve with coffee.  Fresh string beans and tomatoes are finished for the season – Thank you to the Dunn Brothers and Wiegant Farms for all the produce they provided these past months.  We have been blessed by local support!

Because July 4th is on a Saturday and so many volunteers will be out of town or have other commitments and because August has 5 Saturdays, we are changing the Distribution Dates for July and August.  We will meet on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month in July and August.  We will return to our regular 1st and 3rd Saturday in September.

And we are blessed by you.  Because of you we are still here – distributing food and clothing with a smile.  Come and see the love!


 

Farm Share Event3This past Wednesday, Farm Share organized a food event with the Cutler Ridge Police Station.  Tom, Kevin, and I and others assisted with the planning.  There were volunteers from schools, Target, other food pantries, etc.  Over 900 people received 30 pounds of food each – canned goods, cantaloupe, cucumbers, eggplant, corn on the cob, bread, and more.  They even had a DJ to keep everyone hoppin’.  Many of our clients were there.  We distributed from 8:30am to noon.  Everyone was blessed!

 

Tons of thanks Publix!

Hi Team —

We have been truly blessed by our partnership with Publix! During their Spring Donation Program recently they asked shoppers to donate money for food items that would be given to a local food pantry – and that food pantry was us! Kevin had to rent a 16’ truck and make five trips to Publix to transport tons of food to the church. Tom and Jane and Pete and Barbara and Paul were on hand to help. Thank you all. It was a huge undertaking. Some of the food was distributed. Most was stored on the stage and in the room next to the office. It was filled top to bottom, front to back. What a blessing to have corn, cereal, rice, peanut butter, stew, tuna, etc, etc to share with our clients!

We are distributing this weekend. Several of our regular volunteers will not be able to assist so we can use your help. Come and participate. It will bring you great joy.

Local growing season winding down

Come join us this weekend as we distribute to our neighbors in need.  We have gathered lots of food for our folks.  The Feeding South Florida Truck brought 2 tons of cereal, juice, veggies, etc this morning.  The string bean season has ended so we said farewell and Thank You to the Dunn Brothers until next year.  Carl Wiegant at Pine Island Tomato Farms still has huge, red, ripe tomatoes, and Debbie Allen from Sweet De-Lights is preparing yummy cakes to go with the coffee on Saturday morning.  Serving at the Food Pantry will bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits for the day!

Sweet De-Lights bakery sweetens distribution Saturdays!

Hi Team!

cakeIt’s good to be home.  I enjoyed a wonderful trip with friends in the Dominican Republic.  And while I was away I heard that cake and pie was served with the coffee at the last distribution.  I bet that woke everyone up!  The sweets were donated by Debbie from Sweet De-Lights.  She is our newest food pantry partner.  Here’s how she became connected to us – Kevin, John, and Tom after or before their run to the farm for tomatoes or string beans on a Friday afternoon would stop by Debbie’s store and have a piece of pie (as a reward for all their hard work).  They got to chatting and Debbie wanted to be a part of the food pantry.  “I can bake!”  And so Debbie has joined the team.  She uses her talents to bring smiles on Saturday morning.  Thank you, Debbie!

I am going to share her contact information so you can further ‘test’ her goodies:
Sweet De-Lights
Located in the historical Lee’s Key Lime Store
23135 So. Dixie Hwy
768-339-9790/ 786-728-2666

Also, we have a new food pantry sign at the entrance to our parking lot.  Thank you Kevin!  It is magnificent.  And no more rain issues – it’s metallic.

This week Tom and I visited the Feeding South Florida facility in Pembroke Park to attend a training which will enable us to pick up frozen foods from local supermarkets.  The next step is to find a partner supermarket and a vehicle to transport the food.

Thank you for all you do.  Working together we make a difference!

Good news…

First, good news – Brad Tucker performed the Feeding South Florida annual site visit at the last distribution.  We received our “No Plan of Corrections” certificate yesterday.  That means we had NO outstanding issues.  Brad commended everyone on their service to our food pantry.  And so do I!  Bravo.

Second, more good news – Kevin purchased a refurbished pallet jack.  He and Ralf and Lori picked it up yesterday.  It is now living in our storage closet next to the stage.  The jack will facilitate moving our food every Tuesday from the FSF truck to the stage.  And from the backs of our Tuesday morning volunteers, I’m hearing a resounding – YAY!

Our next distribution is Easter weekend and the end of Spring Break.  We have many volunteers who can’t attend so please make an extra effort to be at the distribution if you’re in town and available!

 

Publix offers Food for Sharing…

Help the hungry in our community and help yourself to a reusable bag! 

food for sharingOur community partner, Publix Super Markets, once again is making it easy for shoppers to donate to neighborhood food banks. Food for Sharing is the spring edition of their familiar Food for All holiday food drive, this time with the addition of an environmental twist.

Store displays encourage customers to select a donation ticket – prices vary – and take it, along with a reusable Food for Sharing shopping bag, to the checkout lane. Purchasing a ticket helps feed an in-need family and the FREE shopping bag that comes with the donation saves one visit’s worth of plastic bags and maybe more.

The Perrine Peters UMC food pantry is fortunate to be one of the local organizations that benefit from the generosity of Publix, so look for the Food for Sharing display and become a part of the effort that is helping to feed South Florida.

Beans, beans, beans!!

We had a strange delivery last Tuesday.  The Feeding South Florida truck arrived and unloaded almost 2 tons of canned green beans!  Makes you want to come down to the pantry just to see what that looks like, doesn’t it?  Well, it is impressive.  We sure needed food – so we are not complaining.  I hope our folks like green beans!

Speaking of green beans, we may be picking up some fresh string beans and tomatoes from our local farmers.  If you can come at 4 on Friday to help repackage the produce that would be great.

 

Many Thanks Publix!!

publixWe have had another miracle!  When we left the last distribution our cupboards were bare, but last week the Publix elves appeared and announced they had 6 pallets of food from their area Holiday Food Drive.  If you’re not sure what 6 pallets of food looks like – check out the picture.  You may notice you can’t see the top of the column in some cases.  We made almost 3 trips with 3 trucks to pick up the food and volunteers took over 3 hours to store the food on the pallets.  We are back in business!  Everyone will be happy this holiday season.

Send up prayers for Tom – our food on the stage coordinator, number deliverer, etc, etc.  He had cataracts surgery today.  Love from everyone, Tom!

I hope you can come help be part of the activities this weekend.  We especially need help with the heavy work since Tom is taking it easy.

If you’d like to bring cookies for the distribution, we will share them with our clients as they have their coffee.

Wear your Christmas shirt and share the love and joy of the season!

Thanks Publix!!

publix1Each year, as South Florida gears up for the holiday season, Publix Supermarkets don the check-out lanes with Food For All donation cards, making it a breeze for patrons to give the gift of food to local families through participating charities. The Perrine Peters UMC food pantry is fortunate to be one of the local organizations that benefits from the bounty and this year’s portion could not have arrived at a better time!

We’ve been squeaking by from distribution to distribution due to shortages in the USDA surplus food pipeline that are being felt throughout the region. A number of holiday food drives and our recent addition of a donation button to this website seeking contributions have kept us going but after each recent distribution, our shelves have been empty.

The call from Publix saying that six pallets of food were packed and waiting at the store around the corner was a holiday blessing! Drivers were enlisted and volunteers scrambled to pickup and stash dozens of cartons of instant potatoes, macaroni and cheese, canned fruit and vegetables and other staples in our pantry.

Thanks to Publix we have a full pantry as we head into the New Year. The Food For All campaign is a wonderful community tradition that definitely hits close the home.

Thank you Publix!

Holiday update

Our pallets are empty again after staging Saturday's distribution

Our pallets are empty again after staging Saturday’s distribution

We didn’t receive our usual Tuesday delivery from Feeding South Florida due to a shortage in the USDA pipeline. After staging the food we have on hand for Saturday’s distribution, our pallets are once again empty.

It’s unlikely next Tuesday’s delivery will be sufficient to replenish our pantry so we’ll be seeking help from our corporate partners and frugally shopping for bulk orders of canned and dry goods and supermarket BOGOs for our next distribution.

We’ve recently added  a DONATE button to this page. These tax-deductible contributions will help us keep our pantry stocked  by allowing us to take  advantage of special deals on surplus food and other bargain-priced offers when they occur.

Please help spread the word! A $10 donation will provide bags of food for four grateful families this holiday season.


Good news!  At our annual Thanksgiving meal distribution we had a record number of volunteers and dinners.  Our food pantry clients received over 200 meals. About 1000 meals were served altogether.  Everyone had smiles of joy.

Empty pallets following our last distribution Saturday

Empty pallets following our last distribution 

More Good News!  The pallets on our stage were bare, but the community must have heard because on Tuesday after the Feeding South Florida truck arrived, we received donations from the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, Colonial Drive Elementary School, and the Midwest Police Department.  All together about 3000 pounds of food.  Amazing!  We may have  fresh string beans and tomatoes and even some meat to add to the mix this weekend.

Even more Good News!  I know it seems like yesterday but it was actually 6 years ago Dec. 8 that we first distributed food at PPUMC.  And here we are still – feeding and clothing and hugging those in need!   Come help us celebrate our anniversary this weekend – on Friday we will have sweets and drinks available as we prepare for distribution and on Saturday donuts and bagels!!

Thank you to everyone for your caring spirit – for having a heart for our community food pantry – for donating your time.  You are why we are still giving and making a difference in our neighborhood!

Blessings,

Linda


Many thanks from Branches!
Thank you to everyone who came out and volunteered at Branches’ 14th Annual Thanksgiving Meal Delivery! Thank you for coming out to help Branches cook, package and deliver meals to those in need. At all our 8 sites, we provided over 6,000 meals along with the help from over 1,400 volunteers!

We are thrilled that Branches was able to help with your food pantry as well through some of our Thanksgiving season food drives, and we will be bringing even more donations your way this week and next! Thank you to Perrine Peters for being such wonderful partners!

Have a great afternoon,
Isabelle Pike,
Development Director
branches logo

Timely donation from Pinecrest Preparatory Middle School

Hi Team!

We received a huge donation from Pinecrest Preparatory Middle School this week – over 70 boxes, about 2000 pounds of food.  Thank goodness, because we were low on supplies.  After reboxing the food in smaller containers, we have 12 lines of food and a fresh meat for every client this weekend.  YAY!

We need your help!  Hope you can join in the fun as we make a difference in our community.