Spend Yourself® Food Pantry
About the Food Pantry
The Spend Yourself® Food Pantry (formerly known as Columbia Center for Missions), provides food to hungry people in our community. Our goal is to help the hungry, and build relationships in a warm and welcoming environment. 2013 was a year of growth in the ministry - almost 21% more clients visits, 7.5% more food received (including Thanksgiving Share donations), and 20.7% more volunteer hours(also including Thanksgiving Share). God is blessing our ministry in so many ways!
Location & Hours of Operation:Saturdays, 9:30 am-12 noon
Columbia @ Crossroads
3245 Glen Carlyn Rd
Falls Church VA 22041
INFORMATION FOR CLIENTS
We do not require referrals or check IDs. Anyone is welcome to come any Saturday, between 9:30am and 12noon. Clients generally receive ~3 bags of non-perishable food, plus one or two bags of bread and whatever other fresh items we have that day. People in emergency need of immediate food assistance may contact Columbia at 703-534-5700, or come by the church office at 103 W. Columbia St, Falls Church, Monday - Friday, between 10am and 3pm.
Food Pantry statistics
In 2013, through faithful donations of time, prayer,money and food items including cereal, canned vegetables, pasta,and rice, the Food Pantry:
- Received 178,601 pounds of food (2012: 166,074, a 7.1% increase)
- Served 5,378 households, (made up of 21,216 individuals. (2012: 4,447 households, a 20.9% increase
- Distributed 21,467 bags of food (2012: 19,503 bags of food, a 10.1% increase)
- Received the help of 584 volunteers, totaling 8,173 volunteer hours! ( in 2012: 6,671 volunteer hours, a 20,7% increase)
Get InvolvedThere are various ways you can get involved:
- DONATE FOOD (SHOP & SHARE)
Check out our current needs list or our wish list to see what you can donate. Place your donations in the blue bins around the church building; or contact Betsy Pankey, BetsyPankey@aol.com to make arrangements for delivery of big donations.
- GIVE FINANCIALLY
Your donations allow the Food Pantry to purchase needed items for discounted prices from the Capital Food Area Bank and other vendors. Donate now by going to our Online Giving page. Sign up for an account and designate the Columbia Food Pantry for your contribution.
Federal employees in the National Capital Area can donate to the food pantry through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), an annual fundraising drive conducted by federal employees in their workplace each fall. To contribute directly to the pantry through the CFC, visit the campaign’s website (www.cfcnca.org) and designate charity #76306 (Spend Yourself® Food Pantry). Or contact Pastor for Missions, Greg Loewer for more information.
- PRAY FOR THE PANTRY MINISTRY
- Please pray for our clients; for our volunteers; and for the continued success of the ministry.
- VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
The primary volunteer time is on Saturdays, between 8:30am and around 12:15pm (most volunteers do not stay the entire time). Tasks include working directly with clients to provide their food; pre-packing bags of food & shelving food; & praying with clients. Non-Saturday tasks can include transporting food, receiving deliveries, and preparing the pantry for Saturday operations. All volunteers are scheduled; please contact Betsy Pankey at email@example.com for more information or to volunteer.
Information for Unaccompanied Youth Volunteers
- All unaccompanied youth must provide a completed Food Pantry Youth Permission Form.
- Youth younger than 15 will contact the Food Pantry Lay Leader, for a brief interview before they may serve without an accompanying adult.
- A limited number of unaccompanied youth can be accommodated at the pantry each week, so make sure to sign up early.
PANTRY NOTES & QUOTES
· If you look around the pantry around 8:30am on a Saturday, there are more than a dozen wonderful people working really hard, to get over 3,000 pounds of prepacked food upstairs, pack, move desserts and bread from the freezers to the shelves, pack produce, etc. - all of our regular early bird tasks. Two years ago, most Saturdays there wouldn't have been anyone there that early, and often at 9:15 there were only a handful of us. What a great example of God at work: just as we realized our need for early workers at our new location, He sent them - because it was His plan along!!
· A young boy at the kid's table asked a leader, "What would you get if you were rich?" She said she didn't know, and asked him the same question. His response was:"food"
· “You are all angels!” – a client of several years who is now in remission from prostate cancer. He's
now able to work part-time, but still needs a helping hand, which we are happy to give.
· "I just want to thank you, not just for the food, but for all the love you've shown us
for all these years. It means so much."
. A regular client who had missed the previous Saturday: "Half of the joy of coming here is talking to
all of you and catching up on our lives."
· "I've been to quite a few food banks, and this one is by far the best."
· Pantry Flood/God at Work: During torrential rains late in the day on October 14, a lot of water, mud, and leaves poured through a window and into the pantry. Normally, this would have been discovered Saturday morning, and we would have been unable to operate. But God already had a long chain of circumstances planned out, resulting in members of the Crossroads Hispanic congregation discovering the flood late Friday night. They worked until past 1am, and we were able to function normally! The most moving link in the chain is that when a homeless man approached at 11pm asking for food, a volunteer came back into the building to find something for him, and discovered the flood. Her faithfulness resulted in a major blessing for the ministry!
. We served a record total of 912 families during November, an amazing month. We saw evidence
every day of God at work to smooth the path.