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Food Pantry News: from Debbie Patrick and Father Bill

The Social Ministry committee of Good Shepherd Catholic Community began a food pantry program in 1998 to serve the migrant farmworkers at the local labor camp. The pantry expanded to serve the larger community in 2009, and has been growing steadily since its inception.

Posted by Fr. Bill on July 2, 2016

The pantry expanded to serve the larger community in 2009, and has been growing steadily since its inception.   the past six years the pantry expanded to include a BackPack feeding program at Southern Cayuga School, a children’s library and literacy program, and a free clothing ministry.

Although it began on a small scale, the King Ferry Food Pantry now operates with increasing service goals.  In the past twelve months there were 1,413 household visits to the pantry and 56,484 meals were provided to struggling families.  Day by day the food pantry is helping families to be healthy and realize their fullest potential within their lives and community. 

The food pantry has operated since its inception under the 501(c)(3) status of Good Shepherd Catholic Community as a non-profit organization.  The King Ferry parish house has been used to store supplies and serve as the pantry site. The past two years the food pantry has helped to defray parish costs by paying a modest rent for the space.

In addition to housing the food pantry, the King Ferry parish house has been the home to a large part of our parish faith formation program.  Sharing space has been a challenge for both ministries especially as the food pantry ministry has expanded through the years and hopes to continue to increase its service to the community.

Considering the increased space constraint and the lack of handicap accessibility at the parish house, the food pantry felt it was prudent to pursue an alternate location.  Their site search committee found a space which adequately accommodates their existing programming needs, is central to the community served, has adequate parking, offers handicap accessibility, and has a large ground floor shopping and storage space.  The pantry expects to move into the Ag Wing at Southern Cayuga School over the summer.

The King Ferry Food Pantry is entering a challenging and exciting time, as they move to a new site and create and implement a long range strategic plan.  We have been so successful with nurturing and growing the pantry in our parish, that they can easily evolve from being “a program of” GSCC to becoming “a partner with” GSCC in serving our community.

Because the scope of the food pantry has grown beyond the Social Ministry Committee, the pantry is creating an independent board of directors who will focus exclusively on the pantry’s mission and its further organizational development.  The board make-up will represent the non-denominational approach to the services provided and a variety of community expertise and leadership skills.  Father Bill will serve on the board of directors and will be a liaison from GSCC.  Debbie Patrick will serve on the board as food pantry coordinator.  The first meeting of the board was held this past Monday.  The board moved to begin the process of becoming an independent incorporated not-for-profit corporation and to pursue becoming a 501(c)(3), which is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

Our parish will continue to support the King Ferry Food Pantry in a variety of ways.  We already have many generous donors and volunteers who give of their time, talent and treasure to the food pantry ministry.  As we go forward we see that relationship continuing and hopefully developing more ways that we can support this ministry.   We ask God’s continuous blessing upon the work of the King Ferry Food Pantry and the service it provides to the people of this community. 


Words from our Pastor

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