Our Food Pantry
Christ Church Cares (CCC) operates a local outreach ministry, located in the Bishop's Chapel on the grounds of Christ Church, that provides food and other necessities to our community. In February 2010, CCC began a once-a-month, large-scale food distribution program — a community food service for Clarke County residents. We have done our best to replicate the grocery experience for our clients with open shelves, small grocery carts and products in the same place every month. Clients now can wait their turn out of the weather, seated on pews and chairs, and can do so with the assurance that they will be treated with the utmost respect.
The pantry is a member of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, is qualified for USDA food and receives donations from local individuals and businesses. Fresh seasonal vegetables come from neighbors’ gardens and from the Millwood Community Garden, which CCC supports with time and treasure. We receive venison from Hunters for the Hungry and local hunters.
Our Food Pantry began in February 2010 with 16 families. In 2018 we received 655 client visits representing 1,444 individuals, with many coming multiple times during the year. Because of this growth, our pantry is now open on first Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. exclusively for seniors or clients with special needs. Then on first Saturdays, we are open to residents from the Millwood, Boyce and White Post area from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Every effort is made to assemble the most nutritious food that we can find and afford, with a heavy emphasis on fresh vegetables and quality proteins. For example, every month, we offer grass-fed hamburger that is naturally raised by two neighbors. We look for canned goods low in sodium and sugar and avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup. Thanks to the generosity of Panera Bread and Wegman’s, we can offer high-quality baked goods. For the furry members of local families, one parishioner even began a dog and cat food ministry that is popular with our clients.
Community support for the food pantry has been sustained, creative and generous. In fact, half our volunteers are non-parishioners who are attracted to our hands-on approach to eliminating local food insecurity. Thanks to grants from Land O’Lakes Foundation and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia we were able to purchase two refrigerators and three freezers, while another two freezers were privately donated.
We have received food from birthday parties where the honoree asked for food donations in lieu of presents. Many neighbors spontaneously bring donations. One grandmother “gave” her grandchildren a generous pantry donation as their holiday presents. Powhatan School has been a wonderful neighbor. Their Fifth Grade has held numerous food and clothing drives for us, and they routinely help keep our shelves well stocked. Likewise, Millwood Country Club has for the past several years held a holiday party with the admission "ticket" being a food donation - efforts that brought us many hundreds of pounds of staples! All in all, we operate in a generous community.
For more information on the pantry and the assistance it provides, or to learn more about how you can help us help our neighbors, please email our Outreach Coordinator.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.