Food Pantry Update

The Rappahannock Food Pantry is a year old!

During its first year, the Rappahannock community and others donated almost 20 tons of food and more than three tons of pet food, 1,300 dozen eggs and 450 gallons of milk. Plant-a-Row gardeners and local farmers contributed more than five tons of fruit and vegetables. As of the end of May, the Pantry is serving 285 households.

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April’s Food Pantry benefit at the home of John and Beverly Sullivan, plus proceeds from Betsey Apple’s book signing at Ballard’s, netted the pantry nearly $10,000. An additional $2,000 came in for hoop house expenses. The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community’s (RAAC) one-act plays and comedy performances brought in $600. And Flint Hill Baptist Church delivered the congregation’s second of four intended $625 checks. This financial support is critical since government funding will decline this year.

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The Pantry lost a great friend with Esther Settle’s death. Her generosity was truly remarkable.

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Cheryl Mirabella, nutritional health coach and wellness educator, will offer free healthy eating coaching to Food Pantry recipients. She has tips on how to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar by healthier eating on a limited food budget. Drop by the pantry for Mirabella’’s healthy food demonstration and sampling from noon to 2 Tuesday (June 15). All are invited. Feel free to chat with her about your dietary health questions and concerns. For more information about Mirabella, check out her Web site: livingwholehealth.com.

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When you visit the Pantry, you may notice how spiffy the floors look. Volunteer and pantry adviser Noel Laing is now the Food Pantry’s “maintenance supervisor,” and supervised himself scrubbing and waxing the wood floors. Cintas of Culpeper donated new mats. Between recipients, donors and volunteers, the pantry gets a lot of traffic.

Also notice the small demonstration garden behind the picnic table at the Pantry. Rappahannock schools’ Farm-to-Table program director Trista Scheuerlein managed its construction with the help of pantry director Mimi Forbes, students, observers and volunteers. So far so good – thriving vegetable plants and few weeds! Artist Kim Bealle of D&K Design is designing a sign for the garden, and Farm-to-Table and Peggy Doyle contributed vegetable plants for pantry gardeners to plant in their own gardens.

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Kaye Johnson did an outstanding job of promoting the Food Pantry and Plant-a-Row at the Waterpenny Plant Sale on May 1. Kaye and her husband, Tom, have been super pantry volunteers from its start.

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Need a desk? You too can own a numbered reproduction of the famed Rappahannock County Circuit Court desk. Furniture maker E.A. Clore & Sons offers the desks in oak, cherry, walnut and mahogany for $1,345 – of which $400 will benefit the Pantry and the Fauquier Free Clinic, which serves Rappahannock. To order or ask questions, call Al Henry at 540-675-3490 or 540-347-7826.

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About Kathy Eggers 7 Articles
Volunteer coordinator for the Food Pantry and Plant a Row. Writes updates on the Food Pantry and Plant a Row for the Rappahannock News, PAR website, and Rappnet.