The members of St. Thomas saw that many members of our community struggling to provide for their family. Since a food pantry was already in operation by the Marshall Neighborhood Center (as well as several others), we decided to offer other items that could not be easily obtained through the FDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That meant we would stock paper products, soaps, and personal hygiene items. After opening our pantry, we quickly added some diapers to our list as that was often requested.
Our Non-Food Pantry (NFP) is open each Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 in the Parish Hall and basement. Volunteers from the church and community work at the project each week, even though parishioners are missing the mid-week Eucharist service at 6:00 on their week to work. We accept donations of supplies as well as funds. Working with the Northern Indiana Food Bank, we are able to obtain paper supplies and diapers at greatly reduced prices, when available. Our soaps and shampoos are purchased locally at a dollar store.
Each client is allowed to choose five items for their home each month. Although this is a tiny amount, our clients assure us we are really helping them provide for their family.