Food Pantry Update: Pantry needs a new home

Are we blue? Kinda. The Rappahannock Food Pantry must move from its cozy quarters on Mt. Salem Avenue in Washington by late summer. So we’re looking for new space. We’d like to locate somewhere central in Rappahannock, so that no one has to travel too far to use the pantry, to volunteer, or to donate food.

A place near the town of Washington would be ideal. We need at least as much space as we have now – but a little more would really help. Ample parking is critical – at least for eight parking spaces. Kitchen facilities would be great. A bathroom is a necessity. Windows are desired. If you have a suggestion about where the pantry could move, please e-mail Hal Hunter at hal@rappahannock.com or call him at 540-937-4744.

We’re also blue (but in a good way) because of the blueberry bonanza that came our way in June. Jeannie Wall contacted us to say that her blueberry bushes were full of berries that volunteers could pick for the pantry. Despite the heat and humidity, several folks headed to Jeanne’s for the Great Blueberry Harvest of 2010. Pantry recipients picked for themselves, and brought some back for others. Sounds like the pickers had a great time, too. At last count, the pantry took in 64 pounds of blueberries.

Blueberries are one of the healthiest foods – full of antioxidants. And we’re starting to focus on better nutrition at the pantry. Healthy eating coach Cheryl Mirabella came by last month with some really tasty nibbles: kale and white bean stew, a cold bean salad, and grilled zucchini. Everyone raved about the food – including kids! Her recipes used foods often available at the pantry and currently in season.

Cheryl also visited the Free Clinic with a sampling of healthful food. Cheryl will bring more food samples to the pantry today, July 8 from 1:30 to 3:30. Stop in to meet her and see how delicious healthful food can be. Cheryl will be meeting with interested pantry users to help them improve their diets. Joining her will be registered dietician Kay Stewart. We’re incredibly lucky to have Cheryl and Kay offer their nutritional expertise to the pantry.

We’re also lucky to have such generous folks in Rappahannock. Sunnyside Farms is amazing! In June Sunnyside donated 1,058 pounds of vegetables, including lettuce, greens, squash, cucumbers, and beets. Trinity Episcopal brought in 464 pounds of canned and boxed goods.

Various folks contributed a total of 130 dozen eggs. A local farmer (who prefers to remain anonymous) donated 200 pounds of beef, her second large meat donation. Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese brought the Pantry 10 dozen eggs, 10 quarts of milk, and 327 pounds of canned and boxed goods.

The pantry could use more volunteers, preferably those who can come regularly – every week or every other week. Call Kathy Eggers at 540-987-7208 to volunteer. Sure would be nice if we could clone volunteer extraordinaire Andy Platt!

Check out the new photos on our Web site: plantarow.rappahannock.com.

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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.