Local church receives food pantry grant
STANDISH — The Bethlehem Lutheran Church recently received a $1,000 grant from the Bay Area Community Foundation to help fund its food pantry.
According to the church’s pastor, Anthony Voltattorni, the food pantry is financed through grants, donations, and fundraisers, which go toward purchasing food items.
“We do it five times a year,” Voltattorni said. “A truck comes to the church and we unload thousands of pounds of food. Then we count it, sort it, and box it up.”
The church designates a date when people in need can come in and receive a box of food, and Voltattorni said volunteers at the church continue to give away boxes until they are all out.
Without doing fundraisers throughout the year and receiving donations, Voltattorni said the church could not do the food distribution, so they are appreciative of people and groups able to give.
“It’s about $600 per truck,” he said. “It ends up adding up pretty quickly.”
Voltattorni said the company that provides the food trucks determines the pantry days, based on when they have a truck coming to the area.
“The company itself pulls the shots, and will tell us what day works,” Voltattorni said. “We may not know until two weeks before it happens, so we scramble for help.”
Voltattorni said Michigan Works sends people, and the church gets other volunteers to help out as well, so the distribution usually goes off without a problem.
The next scheduled fundraiser is a dinner at the Knights of Columbus hall in Standish on Aug. 23.
To volunteer or for more information on the pantry, get in touch with the church’s office at 989-846-4972.
“It’s really great to be able to serve the community in this way, and provide meals to those in need,” Voltattorni said.