The Patchwork Food Pantry, which serves Harrisonburg and Rockingham County residents in need with a three-day supply of staple foods, opened May 27, 1992, out of the Community Mennonite Church building at 70 South High Street.
Each Wednesday night from 7-8 p.m. 25 volunteers serve food to approximately 50 families. An additional three volunteers play with clients’ children during the wait for food. A survey in March 2012 showed that clients had come from 13 nations. Monthly incomes were $500 or less for 42 percent of clients, $501-$1,000 for 36 percent.
In 2011, the pantry received and distributed 102,000 pounds of food from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Garden produce from local gardeners and the Weaver’s Mennonite Patchwork Garden is a welcome commodity in the summer months.
Client comments such as “You make me feel like a person and not a bum who has to ask or beg for food for my family” and “If it was not for this pantry, then we would not make it through the month” are what have kept me working at the pantry all these years.
You can participate in the work of Patchwork Pantry by donating food or time. Email PatchworkPantry@gmail.com and follow weekly reports, photos and updates on Facebook at Patchwork Pantry.
Image caption: Pantry supporters celebrated the 20-year milestone with a dinner on May 17. Photo courtesy of author.