continued “We have meetings and our instruction is to take something from the pantry and prepare something to offer as a meal for our meetings,” Lombard said. “And we know if we’ll eat it, our clients will eat it.”
The recipes were especially helpful in getting clients to try canned pork.
“We had 15 cases of this pork. People who’ve eaten it in the past love it, but a lot of people said, ‘Pork in a can? Yuck,’” Lalley said. “But Deb made a goulash with everything we have in the pantry. She made a chili with the pork. She made pulled pork. And they all tasted really good.”
“The recipes have really helped,” Lombard said. “People actually take the recipes. They’re right in the pantry and right next to all the stuff. The volunteers try to get them thinking beyond the normal stuff.”
The Brewerton pantry is supplied by The Food Bank of Central New York, but the community helps out, as well. The Saddle Creek neighborhood holds food drives six times a year to fill the pantry’s shelves, and communicants at all four member churches regularly donate to keep it going. It’s also helped out by CROP walks, corporate donations — Price Chopper and Panera donate bread every week —and an agreement with a Rochester-based company, St. Pauly’s Textiles, which buys used clothes donated by parishioners. The food pantry gets $40 for every 1,000 pounds of clothes it donates; the clothes are then given to people in need worldwide.
The pantry also gets a hand from the local schools.
“Brewerton Elementary has kind of adopted the food pantry as their community [outreach project],” Lombard said. “We filled three trucks with stuff from their food drive. They do two every year. The classrooms compete, and the classroom to bring in the most canned goods or perishable food items is treated to a pizza lunch.”