Purpose:  The Cross Roads Food Pantry houses a community outreach program uniting people of all faiths to serve Monroeville residents who are in need of food and other necessities.  As concerned and caring individuals, our mission is to provide nutritional food, personal care items, and social services to those who need them in order to sustain, strengthen and to educate.

Cross Roads Food Pantry

During the Christmas season the Food Pantry provides a special holiday food distribution.  Included with the food distribution is a toy distribution.  East End co-operative Ministries are given the excess toys.  This picture is from the 2008 Toy distibution

CROSS ROADS FOOD PANTRY-FIRST 30 YEARS


1978-79 THE BEGINNING (Editor: Jim Manner from notes and memories passed on to the editor)

It was approximately 1978 when members of Deacon of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church, Shirley Willard, Winkie Fitzsimmons, Millie Schwab, Pam Price, Karen Kutz and Faye Junker became aware of a member of the Church in need of food assistance. This group requested donations of money and canned goods from the Cross Roads members. This group suspected others might need help and the following was the beginning of the history of the Cross Roads Food Pantry.

The Senior High Room on the second floor of the Church was used to store the it ems available to be distributed to the families. As donations increased, additional items were added to the list. Callers, packers and drivers (Larry Haines, John Ramp and Baker Bernhardt) were used at that time (we no longer use drivers for security and liability reasons). Pitcairn was even on the list of food distribution at that time (now only Monroeville residents are served; Pitcairn has its own pantry). The GPCFB in McKeesport was used during this early period of food distribution (new facility now in Duquesne).

The Congregation and the Food Pantry Committee soon recognized that as new clients were added, additional space was needed. The Food Pantry moved to a storage room on the ground floor of the church. The Committee purchased the first refrigerator and added additional items for distribution.

From 1977 through the 1980's it became apparent that as the families served increased, that further assistance was needed. A volunteer assumed the duties of Coordinator and was assisted by volunteers for packing and distribution. Food was purchased from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB). Additional items were purchased from local grocery stores. Additional refrigerators and a freezer were donated. Clients were accepted based on income following TEFAP guidelines (The Emergency Food Assistance Program; basis Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture).

During the period of 1990 to 1996, the Food Pantry began reaching out to other churches in the Monroeville area for donations and volunteers. Prior to that time, volunteers and donations came only from Cross Roads members (with the exception was Temple David). To stay financially viable, at times grants from the Westinghouse foundation, and others, helped to fund the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry became a United Way agency during this time and donations, from payrolls (or direct) were designated to the Food Pantry. The later donations generally are sufficient to cover our purchases from the GPCFB. Also during this time period, Food Vouchers from Giant Eagle were given to Food Pantry Clients to purchase perishables such as eggs, milk, etc.

1996-2000

In 1996 it became apparent that the Food Pantry was in desperate need of additional space due to the increase in clients. The number of Food Pantry clients had increased from the original five or six families to 130 families. Items distributed to the clients increased from the original level to 49 to 50 items .

Plans were begun to raise money for and independent building (attached to the church) for the current Food Pantry. Individual monetary donations, and $ 25000 from the Monroeville Rotary, and also $ 25000 from a state grant, gave the necessary funding for the Cross Roads Food pantry expansion. This was done in conjunction with the Cross Roads Church expansion. Dedication of the new Food Pantry addition was held in September 2000.

2000-2007

The number of clients has stayed around 120 for this time period with some dropping out due to increased income, etc. and new clients replacing those leaving. We have a steady request for new clients during each year. The Food Pantry has a Director and five board members and a very faithful group of volunteers.

The Food pantry currently has three refrigerator freezer combinations, three upright freezers, and one chest freezer for storage of perishables. It has its' own office, file cabinets and a computer for processing of clients and recording data pertaining to required record keeping.

Finances have been good during this time period with donations from Cross Roads Presbyterian church members, other churches and over the years, some 40-50 different organizations and Churches donating money and food. In particular, we are grateful to the Monroeville-Pitcairn mailman's yearly food collection. Also to Boy Scout Troop 184 and Temple David for their large food collections to help keep our shelves stocked. We have also been the recipient of generous individual cash donations during this time period.

This has enabled us to continue the Giant Eagle Voucher program, an Easter distribution and our annual Christmas food and Toy distribution. Continuation of United Way donations has also been crucial to our financial success.

The success of the outreach program of the Food Pantry of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church has been accomplished, and currently thrives, due to all of the features mentioned above. May it continue to flourish doing God's work of feeding those in need.

Submitted by: James Manner, Director

CROSS ROADS FOOD PANTRY-History 2007-2008
12/15/2008

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