When the mercury starts to drop it’s a wonderful time to either donate to or volunteer at the local food pantries on Cape Cod. In this article, we will explore some of the Cape Cod food pantry. We will look at their history and what volunteers can expect when working with the food pantries and other nonprofits to help local residents.
According to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod they are on-track to deliver about $1 million more worth of food, above last year’s high record of $6.4 million in food assistance. The increased food prices and cost of living are pushing many families to seek assistance.
Those who visit the food pantry often have two or three jobs but still cannot make ends meet. Also, there remains a high seasonal unemployment rate throughout the area which contributes to the growing need for food banks.
If you are interested in volunteering at a food bank the process is easy. Many volunteers at the food pantries simply takes the orders and then collects the items at the warehouse for the customer, but there are certainly a range of necessary tasks that require the expertise of many different volunteers.
A Handful of Cape Cod Food Pantry :
Family Pantry of Cape Cod
In 2022 the Family Pantry of Cape Cod distributed over 130,000 bags of groceries, serving over 500 families each week. They are currently open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Donations of food and cash are both accepted, currently asking for donations of frozen turkeys and pies for turkey day.
The Family Pantry of Cape Cod was formed in 1989 by 10 members of the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Holy Trinity Church. They rented a small store and launched a food drive on the 4th of July. By August 8, 1989, they had opened their doors for business. The volunteers paid the rent on the store a nickel at a time by collecting cans and bottles to redeem.
The pantry has now become a non-profit and non-denominational organization. The main pantry is located in Harwich. They also operate a satellite pantry on the Cape Cod Community College Campus. The Family Pantry works with the Greater Boston Food Bank which runs 28 soup kitchens and food pantries across the Cape and the Islands.
Falmouth Service Center
Their slogan, “more than a food pantry” can be seen in the expanse of their services ranging from the popular Hand In Hand Thrift store, the Clothing Room, the Food Pantry and their Home Delivery Service. At this time their services are available to anyone in need of food assistance living within Massachusetts.
The Falmouth Service Center which began in 1983, now boast over 600 volunteers, serving the upper Cape and beyond. Their popular Hand in Hand Thrift Store accepts lightly used donations or clothing and household items that are either given away to needy families in their Clothing Room or sold for profit to support their food pantry and other outreach programs.
Yarmouth Food Pantry
The Yarmouth Food Pantry offers between 800 to 900 bags of food per every month which works out to 3000 to 5000 bags of food per week which assists 150 area households. They are open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Tuesdays.
The workforce at Yarmouth Food Pantry is a 100 percent volunteer force. You can help hand out food baskets or collect donated items. Each week the food bank transports thousands of pounds of food to the pantry’s facilities for distribution. You can also help sort items, stock shelves, pack grocery bags and pick up food from local vendors. If you can lift 30 pounds, then you can assist with the weekly food transport.
History of the Sandwich Food Pantry
The Sandwich Food Pantry has been in operation since 1983 meeting the needs of local Sandwich residents. They also serve all residents in Barnstable County. They are open every Wednesday and the third Saturday of the month. Those in need of food can show up to the Pantry on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The only requirement is a show of residency when filling out the application.
If you would like to volunteer at the Sandwich Food Pantry, then you fill out the application online and then bring it into the food pantry Monday through Friday from 10 am to 12 pm.
Hands of Hope Food Pantry
The Hands of Hope Food Pantry offers food assistance to families in need in the Mid-Cape region from Mashpee to Harwich. They also provide financial assistance to halt evictions and pay medical bills, and utilities. Families in need can also receive shelter and small appliances when needed. Every year, the Hands of Hope Food Pantry meets the needs of 27000 individuals.
The Cape Cod Council of Churches runs the Hands of Hope Food Pantry and has been helping local families for over 50 years. They assist individuals throughout Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod.
A Small Sampling of Cape Cod Food Pantry
This is only a sampling of the food pantries located throughout the Cape, there are many others that are also meeting the needs of local families and residents. Although some of Cape Cod food pantry receive grant money, the driving force behind them is the generous donations of money and volunteered time from the many giving benefactors in the Cape Cod region.
Contact the above organizations to learn what you can do to help by volunteering or making donations.