Halloween was a howl at the Rappahannock Food Pantry. Manager (and pirate) Mimi Forbes disarmed all with her get-up. Volunteer John Mann was a Bob Marley look-alike. At least one child came to the Pantry in costume. Treats were distributed to all. Thanks to Mimi, the Pantry is a fun place to visit — as volunteer, donor, or recipient.
Thanksgiving is a big deal at the Pantry. Two-hundred and fifty turkeys and fixings will be distributed the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We’d love donations of canned green beans, cranberry sauce, yams, and pumpkin for pies, and instant mashed potatoes and stuffing mix. From 9 to 2 Saturday, Nov. 20, we need volunteers to assemble the boxes. On the following Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 22-23) we need volunteers who can help distribute the food from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call the Pantry at 540-675-1177 to sign up to help.
The Pantry has a spiffy cooler for milk, eggs, butter, cheese and such, thanks to Frank Huff, vending manager of the Pepsi distribution center east of Warrenton. We’re grateful to Brad Schneider for hauling the cooler to the Pantry. We now have tons of room for dairy products. So bring on the milk, cheese, butter and egg donations!
The cozy little Pantry has been transformed — the walls are now a lively “key lime green.” A volunteer did the painting, and the Paint Bucket in Culpeper donated the paint. And, thanks to Eddie Fletcher and his family, the Pantry has a cardboard recycling bin with weekly pickups. Appreciate it, folks!
Starting at 5 p.m. next Monday (Nov. 8) is the third annual Rappahannock Apple and Vegetable Peel at Rappahannock Elementary School. The “Great Peel” is a community effort to bring locally grown food to our county school children. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to support Rappahannock farmers and orchards. Bring an apron, paring knife, peeler and cutting board, if you can.
Come on along to the Trinity Episcopal Church’s parish hall in Washington at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 for a singalong of old favorites. Songbooks will be provided, and wine and cheese for nibbles. Your $10 (suggested) donation will all go to the Pantry. Call Kay Wilson at 987-9229 for more information.
Hal Hunter hauled 367 pounds of venison from Hunters for the Hungry (no relation) to the Pantry in October. Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Pantry has 20 clothing and shoe vouchers for recipients to use at the Washington Thrift Store. And regular donors Sunnyside Farm, Trinity Episcopal, Clay Fulghum and Marshall Jones, David Morrow, and Steve Welch came through for the Pantry again last month.
Hoop House News from Hal: “We added soil amendments to the topsoil (chicken manure and mushroom soil), and the Mountain Laurel Montessori Farm School students planted one of the rows. All the hoops are up (Chris Russell and Mark Cuppett helped Ron Makela) but the plastic cover over the hoops is waiting on some materials Ron needs to anchor it.”
Mimi boasts that she has “The best volunteers in the world.” Andy Platt of Woodville has been helping at the Pantry for about a year. He generally works a couple of afternoon a week, frequently accompanying recipients as they “shop.” What makes Andy a standout volunteer are his strong back, cheerful demeanor and his willingness to fill in at the Pantry when Mimi finds herself shorthanded. Andy’s background is in the environmental area, specifically the Superfund. And he won raves for his acting talent in last May’s Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) theater skits. Andy is the proud father of Erin and grandfather of J.
We’re still planning a post-harvest volunteer and donor potluck for Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4. We don’t have a place lined up yet — we may end up in a stable, but there’s precedent for that. Details as they emerge.