A community partnership to share food with those who are hungry.
Fact: Today in Lincoln, Nebraska, there is a growing need for food.
The reason for this growing need is the number of households living in or close to poverty. With little or no savings these families and individuals live in the shadow of a crisis or unexpected bill leaving them with no money to buy food.
As a response to this growing need, the Westminster Food Pantry was established in the summer of 1992. As part of the Emergency Food Pantry System of the Lincoln Interfaith Council, the Westminster Food Pantry serves emergency food needs only.
Tracy elected to participate in an 8-week adult treatment program and in doing so lost here day-care center job. With her boyfriend’s construction income reduced because of wet weather and eight-year-old son Timmy to feed, Tracy needed the help of the Westminster Food Pantry.
How does the Emergency Food Pantry system work?
A family or individual who is in need of food contacts one of the community’s authorized human service agencies. The agency then checks with the Lincoln Interfaith Council which keeps records of those who have been provided an emergency food box. Families are allowed to use the service only four times per year.
Shirley has been raising her 13 year-old grandson since he was 3 years old. When Shirley was laid off from her job and had depleted her savings…the Westminster Food Pantry was there to help.
Volunteers play a key role at Westminster Food Pantry.
Once a week, volunteers gather at Westminster Food Pantry to fill a standing order for emergency food boxes. Each order is packed based on the number of individuals in the family. Each box contains a nutritionally balances seven-day supply of food.
After the emergency food boxes are packed, they are picked up and distributed to families through the People’s City Mission Distribution Center.
Volunteers also stock the pantry shelves and shop for food.
Where does the pantry food supply come from?
Food to stock the Westminster Food Pantry comes from food and cash donations from Westminster members, supporting congregations, and fiends. The cash donations are used to buy food through the Lincoln food Bank. Food items not available at the Food Bank are purchased from local grocery stores.
Lisa works as a hotel maid and her husband Mark earned a minimum wage cleaning cars and trucks. Unexpected dental and other bills left no money for food. The Westminster Food Pantry was there to help.
How much food is required weekly to operate the Westminster Food Pantry?
Currently 305 items of food (with a retail value of $280) are needed every week to help families served by the Westminster Food Pantry.
Eric and his two sons recently moved to Lincoln from California after a difficult divorce and being injured on the job. After Eric was out of work for six months…his worker’s compensation benefits delayed…the Westminster Food Pantry was there to help.
What goes into an emergency food box?
The items that make up a Westminster Food Pantry emergency food box include:
Pork and Beans
Spaghettio’s/other Canned Meals
Macaroni and cheese Dry Cereal
Stew, Chili, etc.
Noodles; Other Pasta
Sharing food with others: a special outreach ministry
The Westminster Food Pantry provides an opportunity for people of all ages to work together to fight hunger.
Here is how you can help:
- Donate Food: The need for food is ongoing. Your food donation can be dropped off at a special wooden box located at the top of the stairs near the east parking lot door at Westminster Presbyterian Church or at the church office. Supporting congregations may wish to designate a specific pantry Sunday each month or hold special food drives during the year.
- Contribute Funds: Cash contributions supplement the food donations to provide a nutritionally balanced supply of food. Checks or cash of any amount are welcome. Checks can be made out to Westminster Presbyterian Church and designated for the food pantry. Your contribution can be brought to the church office or mailed to: Westminster Presbyterian church, 2110 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln, NE 68502
- Adopt-A-Food: Adopt a nonperishable food for the pantry by adding it to you weekly grocery list and remember the Westminster Food Pantry each time you shop.
- Volunteer Time: Volunteers are needed to pack food boxes, stock shelves and shop for food.
- Walk for the hungry: Walk and encourage others to walk in the annual CROP Walk or sponsor walkers. The Westminster Food Pantry receives a portion of the money raised from the CROP Walk.
Delores takes care of Katrina, her 33 year old disabled sister and has two children under the age of 10. Unable to work outside the home, Delores received $293 monthly in ADC benefits and food stamps. Delores received a food box from Westminster Food Pantry when she was unable to stretch her food stamps far enough.