The goal of the South County Food Pantry is to provide food for families who are in need. Our role in the “need network” is gathering, organizing and distributing food to the hungry in the Venice, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey areas. The pantry has over one hundred volunteers, none of whom receives any compensation nor are any reimbursed for incidental expenses such as automobile usage. We are a nonprofit, 501c3 organization, and we do not receive any government funding. During 2015, we had 5,556 visits which represented 10,787 adults and 3,553 children. Our clients can visit us once per month and receive about a week’s worth of food.
One of our main goals is to provide support for families who need help for a short time only. We offer food until they can improve their economic situation. This is true for a high percentage of our clients. From 2013 to 2015, 45% of our families were no longer dependent on our services. Senior citizens who are on a limited budget make up 8% of our clients. These are folks who are 70 years old and older. Homeless individuals make up 5% of our clients. Others include single parent families, those who do not have work, and the disabled.
We are open every weekday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. In addition to providing food we also provide a certain amount of social interaction for our clients. Especially the elderly who enjoy talking with our volunteers. Our services are on a personal and very humanistic basis, and our volunteers interact with our clients one to one. We feel this makes us unique in our approach.
Our donations come from churches, community organizations, and individuals in the Venice area. We have over 150 such sources for our food. For tax purposes a value is assigned to the food that we receive. During 2016 the pantry had 4,803 client visits (up about 200) accounting for 12,010 people including 2,904 children. Our volunteer processed 52,634 cans not including boxes, bags and other donated items nor any of our purchased food. We give out approximately $228,000 worth of canned goods each year, not including meat, miscellaneous foods on the extra shelves, or the bread and pastry received from the Publix Grocery on the island.
Our Board of Directors
|Chairperson||Rev. Bob Haley|
|Vice President||Doug MacFayden|
|Secretary & Office Manager||Rosie Schroeder|
|Stocking/Donations Coordinator||Barbara LaGrand|
|Volunteer Coordinator||Phyllis Gaylor|
|Community Outreach||Lynne Schaeffer|
|Community Outreach||Nancy Parzych|
|Board Member||Angelo Agliardo|