by Jo Ann Munce, Outreach board member and food pantry co-coordinator
During the month of April, Stockbridge Community Outreach conducted a survey of its food pantry clients, and the results set them back on their heels.
Each client received the survey form upon arriving at the pantry, and completed it at a separate, semi-private desk in the pantry area. Clients placed their completed surveys in a box located at that desk.
At a recent board meeting, Outreach director Karen Smith reported on the survey responses, which revealed compelling information about food security in our community.
Outreach board members were startled to learn that almost 33% of survey respondents reported skipping a meal within the previous month due to a shortage of food in the household.
This news was of deep concern to Karen and to members of the board as well. Although Outreach’s food pantry mission is to be a secondary, fill-in, source of food for its clients on a once-a-month basis, nearly 35% of survey respondents reported relying on the pantry as the primary source for their food needs. And, over 67% of respondents said that the food they receive from the pantry lasts just seven days or less.
In light of the fact that members of our community report having to skip meals and that the Outreach food pantry represents a key source of food supplies, board members are reexamining the once-a-month policy. Ensuring that no one in the local community finds it necessary to skip meals due to lack of food is clearly an important Outreach goal.
“We never want people to miss a meal,” Smith emphasized.
Programs of Stockbridge Community Outreach are sustained through the generosity of donors. Outreach provides assistance to more than 1480 clients living within the Stockbridge School District each year, including holidays.
Christmas in July at Stockbridge Community Outreach
Stockbridge Community Outreach has been visited by a “Secret Santa” who has offered a tremendous gift: Its Secret Santa will give Outreach up to $2,000, matching dollar for dollar any donations the organization receives in July 2019.
Outreach is thrilled with this challenge and hopes to scoop up every last penny. Readers may help secure those matching funds by making a gift to Outreach during the month of July. Mail to Stockbridge Community Outreach, P.O. Box 682, Stockbridge, MI 49285, or donations may be made in-person at their offices located in the back of the Stockbridge Activity Center (old middle school), off Cherry and Elm Streets. Come in Door #20, Mondays & Fridays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. or Wednesdays from 1 – 6 p.m.
“Help Outreach make food security a reality here in our community,” Smith said.