HISTORY OF THE PAINTED POST FOOD PANTRY
The Pantry opened in 1975, and has been open every weekday morning since,
providing food to anyone in need. ln 2019 we served 8,098 people, or 2,282
households, and 366 families were new visitors to our Pantry. A total of 81,402
pounds of food was available to our families. Nearly 10% of food was provided by
donations from individuals, groups and food drives in our community. All other
food is purchased with a combination of cash contributions and grants.
When our Pantry began operation, a dietitian in selected a list of healthy foods which
we routinely stock. Other items are stocked as available. We are a “choice” pantry,
meaning that clients may choose from what we have. A volunteer escorts each
visitor through the pantry, providing personal attention, making suggestions on
food preparation, and a chance to visit.
A unique feature of our Pantry is our Women’s Shelf, provided by grants from the
“Fund for Women” of the Elmira-Corning Community Foundation and Christ
Episcopal Church in Corning, NY. Women’s health and hygiene items are
purchased with these funds, and the Shelf is stocked with items that can’t be
purchased with Food Stamps, such as feminine hygiene, skin and hair care and
laundry items. The gratitude for these simple things is humbling, and the program
is very popular. We call it “Not by Bread AIone.” As a result of recent additional
grants we were able to provide household detergents to our visitors. These have
been in great demand and we are seeking additional funding sources to continue
to provide laundry and dish soaps. Recent grants from Sam’s Club (Walmart
Community Grant) and Five Star Bank and donations also provide for a Men’s Shelf, offering basic health and hygiene necessities for our male visitors.
Although we are housed in the United Church of Painted Post, we are an
independent 501(C)(3) organization, and a member of the Food Bank of the
Southern Tier. We began as a mission of the four Painted Post churches
(Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic) and many of our 70
volunteers represent these churches.
We serve not only Painted Post, but many surrounding communities; no one is refused.
Our support and volunteers also come from the larger community. We provide food for
our visitors, and try our best to make them feel welcome. All of our staff serve
without pay; and we are always grateful to the United Church of Painted Post, and
its Pastor and staff, who have housed the Pantry and helped us from the
The mission of the Painted Post Food Pantry is to provide food for those in need, thereby, enhancing their quality of life and improving their health and well-being