At Lovin’ Spoonfuls, it’s all about partnership. We work with over 185 nonprofits across Massachusetts that distribute the food we rescue to people who need it most. One of our nonprofit partners is St. John’s Food Pantry in Springfield, which serves around 130 people in the area every week. We caught up with Kathy Henry, St. John’s Food Pantry’s Administrator, to learn more about their program and how Spoonfuls’ food distributions help.
St. John’s Food Pantry is a “choice” food pantry which has been in existence for over 25 years. It’s operated by volunteers. The pantry distributes food to seniors, people experiencing homelessness, and anyone else in need on Mondays and Wednesdays. Mondays are reserved for elderly guests only. [Being a] “choice” pantry indicates that our site is set up similar to a grocery store, where people come in and “shop” for whatever items they choose.
The food delivered by Lovin’ Spoonfuls has been a great support by alleviating our volunteers’ stress around heading to stores and picking up donations themselves. It’s given us access to more produce from stores we weren’t picking up from, too.
A lot of our clients have dietary restrictions due to underlying health issues and are not always able to get to the store or purchase certain items. The healthy food, which Lovin’ Spoonfuls helps us to provide, really assists them in maintaining overall healthier lifestyles without having to worry about having no way or money to purchase [the food they want].
Tofu has been the most exciting. A lot of people are turning to vegetarian-based diets.
Here at St. John’s Food Pantry, the clientele has changed. I’m seeing a lot more working people come into the pantry for assistance because their money is exhausted by other household [expenses]. More people are coming in experiencing homelessness, living in rooms or staying in shelters without any way to cook other than a microwave or hotplate, and people requesting information regarding the hours of other pantries in the area to increase the food [they have] on hand.
Learn how you can get involved with Lovin’ Spoonfuls and read about more of our partners below: