Endicott food pantry switches to shopping model

Pantry is open from 6 to 7 p.m. every fourth Thursday



Volunteers, Gerry Driver, left, Judy Driver, middle, and David Gilman pose in the Endicott food pantry. The pantry serves around 50 families every month.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

The Endicott food pantry implemented a new shopping model mode on Aug. 29 to try to create a better environment for their clients to receive the food they need.

David Gilman, Endicott pantry manager, said that they serve around 50 families every month. The Endicott food bank has been running for 20 years.

The goal for the Endicott food pantry is to have more fresh food like bread and vegetables, because they are lacking in fresh produce for the families, Gilman said.

He said he is also working to provide sack lunches for children because some families aren’t able to afford them.

Before the Endicott food pantry adopted the shopping model mode the items were bagged, and families were not able to pick out their own food, he said.

The new model the food pantry adopted allows families to choose their food items like they would in a grocery store, Gilman said.

The food pantry receives donations from the community, he said, and gets help from the Council on Aging and Human Services to serve the families in the surrounding area.

Paige Collins, executive director for the Council on Aging and Human Services said the switch from bagged groceries to the current shopping model was to create a more dignified way to serve their clients.

“People in need usually don’t have a lot of choices, it’s nice for them to come in and shop so that they have choices and groceries instead of just being handed a bag and told goodbye,” she said.

The Council on Aging and Human Services received state funding, which allowed them to provide the four shelving units and about two carts the Endicott food pantry uses, she said.

Collins said the carts would be used to help older clients transport their groceries to their cars.

She said with this model there’s not a stigma attached to the families who are facing food insecurity.

“We would love to put ourselves out of business, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. The goal for Endicott food pantry is to provide the families healthy food,” Collins said.

The food pantry is open every fourth Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Endicott.