Over in Fincastle at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Botetourt Food Pantry served over 5,200 people on a year’s worth of Saturdays in 2010. Every week between 35-50 families come to get food. With many churches setting out to do food pantries as an outreach mission, the need is great to have donations to come into the BFP as it is the designated food pantry for the county.
Participants in the program are often referred by Social Services. The pantry is also one that buys and receives food from Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) especially when donations are down and demand is up as it has been for the past several years. Volunteers from churches and organizations staff the pantry along with St. Mark’s Episcopal members. Kathy McClung and Martha Rodgers direct the pantry. Many young people from youth groups and school organizations and scouting troops are among the volunteers. Stocked boxes of Feed America that are filled by Kroger patrons as well as bread from Kroger are also distributed by the BFP. In the freezer, hunters donated a large amount of venison for distribution as well.
Currently all canned and monetary donations are welcome but especially dry cat food, dry dog food, toiletries like soap and shampoo, paper goods like toilet paper and paper towels and always canned meats and protein items. Why pet food? Often the companion animal of an elderly person or a person with health issues are the recipients of the owner sharing his or her meager food supplies with the beloved pet. The Roanoke Valley SPCA will send dry food but currently the supply is nil at the BFP for dry cat food. Volunteers scoop the dry food into bags for distribution on Saturdays.
The donations are accepted at Fincastle Library during operation hours as well as the church office M-F from 10 a.m. -1:30.