St. Hugh’s Pantry
Inside the Greenbelt Co-op, next to the Bank of America ATM machine is a green bin for “Food Pantry Donations.” Where will the donations go and what will be done to them? Last week I had a chance to find out.
“Food Pantry Donations: Please donate unopened, non-refrigerated food items here for distribution to less fortunate Greenbelt families in need of a helping hand. Thank you!”
The green collection bin is next to the Bank of America ATM machine.
Once a week, Mike McAndrew and others take the items collected at the Greenbelt Co-op to St. Hugh Catholic Church’s pantry. Here McAndrew (left) and Kelly Lawson carry bags from the truck into the church.
Melissa Turner helps carry bags.
Mike McAndrew carries donated items to the pantry.
Once a week at St. Hugh’s pantry in the church’s basement, a group of women from The Ladies of Charity organize the donated items and pack them in bags for distribution to needy families. Here, from left, Ann Moriarty and Barbara Hamilton take donated items out as Ann Marques collects the bags.
Solange Hess taps on the shoulder of Mary Jo Dorsey.
Barbara Hamilton and Mary Jo Dorsey place items at their right place in the food pantry.
Soon the pantry is full. Only non-perishable food is accepted at St. Hugh’s pantry.
There are also a small number of personal hygiene products.
Once the main pantry is full, additional items are placed in these “overflow” cabinets.
Ann Marques bags all the bags. They will be reused to pack food items for distribution.
The donated item have been filed into the cabinets.
After all items have been filed, packing starts. Here are signs for items needed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner respectively. Note that it also has green next to breakfast, red next to lunch, and white next to dinner.
Ann Moriarty places items into a bag held by Bridget McDermont.
Solange Hess ties a breakfast bag using a green ribbon. Colored ribbons are used to distinguish breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Barbara Hamilton puts a finished breakfast bag on the breakfast shelf.
Mary Jo Dorsey opens a box of tea bags.
Dorsey puts some tea bags into a breakfast bag held by Bridget McDermont.
Solange Hess ties a breakfast bag using a green ribbon.
Next, lunch bags are packed. Here Ann Marques consults the lunch list on the door.
Lunch items are collected.
Solange Hess ties a lunch bag using a red ribbon.
The lunch shelf
Bridget McDermont checks to see whether the bag is complete.
Solange Hess ties a dinner bag using a white ribbon.
Wearing pink is Helen White (center).
Another dinner bag
Today the group is packing bags for 15 families. Each family will receive a breakfast bag, a lunch bag, and a dinner bag. Here, after all bags have been packed, Barbara Hamilton and Helen White take out more items from a box.
If there is room, new items can be added to the pantry.
Helen White adds items to the pantry.
The finished breakfast bags
The finished lunch and dinner bags
Ladies who volunteer at St. Hugh’s pantry are from left Barbara Hamilton, Helen White, Solange Hess, Mary Jo Dorsey, Ann Marques, Bridget McDermont, and Ann Moriarty. Not pictured is Shirley Donkis who is out of town.
Solange Hess, who is the coordinator of the pantry, tells me that St. Hugh’s has operated this pantry for about seven years. Volunteers come here once a week and it takes them about an hour to finish the job. Later these bags are taken to the rectory and distributed to people in need. Beside the Greenbelt Co-op, the pantry also receives donations from Curves in Roosevelt Center, Mishkan Torah Synagogue, Boy Scouts, Golden Age Club, GHI (at annual picnic for example), and other places. From time to time, Hess writes a thank-you note to the News Review.