“For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink…...”
The Nelson County Pantry is operated entirely by volunteers and the generous contributions from the many local churches, civic organizations, businesses and private individuals. Grants from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge and the Presbytery of the James provide needed funds.
The average number of families has increased to around 250 representing nearly 700 individuals and we are distributing around 10,000 pounds of food and packing about 650 bags of groceries each month. Our distribution has increased tremendously over the last few months to record levels. Typically, we will have the busiest months in November and December.
The Pantry is a member of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Your tax deductable donations are greatly appreciated and may be mailed to:
Nelson County Pantry
P. O. Box 353
Lovingston, VA 22949-0353
Nelson County Pantry History
The Nelson County Pantry originated in 1997 from a series of meetings of concerned citizens and several local church ministers. There were numerous small food pantries operating from the churches, but it was felt the needs of the Nelson County residents could be better served through a coordinated effort. The first Nelson County Pantry was introduced into service at the Massies Mill Presbyterian Church.
As the needs of the Pantry grew, it became apparent more space was required, and preferably a more centralized location in the County. In late 1999, after a brief stay in the basement of the old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Lovingston, the Pantry moved across from the church to 611 Front Street. We continued to use the basement at St. Mary’s for client registration, health screenings by RHOP and refreshments. It was evident In 2003, that something would have to be done as the volume of individuals needing assistance increased. Not only was the Pantry distribution area inadequate, but the use of the basement at the old St. Mary’s Church Nelson County Pantry would no longer be available after its final sale.
In late 2004, at the request of the Pantry Board of Directors and the Pastoral Council of St. Mary’s, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond agreed to allow the Pantry to construct a 1,500 square foot building at the south end of the new church parking lot. Funding for the new Pantry came from several large Grants and corporate gifts as well as from local churches and individual donors.
On a monthly basis the Pantry provides supplemental food to more than 225 households, representing approximately 600 individuals. The food purchases and donations average over 8,000 pounds. The Pantry is operated solely by student and community volunteers. Students from the Nelson County High School ALPHA Program and the North Branch School as well as other student and community volunteers work diligently to stock, pack and distribute the 600 grocery bags needed each month. The Pantry operates with an average of 75 volunteers contributing approximately 150 hours each month.