Manna Choice Pantry
The primary goal of the Manna Choice Pantry is to provide healthy food for needy families, but we also have a mission goal of community building by sharing care and concern for our neighbors.
In the spring of 2014, a group of congregants from Colesville Presbyterian Church approached Manna Food Center to ask if we could become a distribution site. After visiting our facility, Manna staff approached us about becoming a pilot project for a new model of food distribution: A Choice Pantry. With this approach, recipients are not handed a box of preselected food, but instead, allowed to choose from shelves stocked with vegetables, fruit, canned meat and beans, rice, pasta, cereal, and other supermarket staples. Then they pick out frozen meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and bread. This lets people make their own choices geared to their family’s preference.
For CPC, a founding principle of this model is the opportunity to offer hospitality, support and encouragement, and build connections with people served by Manna. As a result, a close fellowship has formed among volunteers and participants. We come together around food and share comforting hugs, smiles, and laughter.
Because of the success of the choice pantry model, all future Manna distribution sites in Montgomery County will be structured to allow recipients to choose food that best suits their families with emphasis on welcoming spaces.
The Choice Pantry at CPC is open on the 4thFriday of each month. Anyone wishing to receive food needs to call Manna at 301-424-1130.
There are a variety of ways that CPC members and friends can help support the pantry: volunteering on pantry day, helping with resupply, donating food items, and remembering pantry families in your prayers. Contact the church office if you have questions or would like more information. 301-622-4555.