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Our Lady's Pantry
Serving families in Balm, Wimauma, and Sun City Center, Florida

Our Lady’s Pantry is at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Migrant Mission, 16650 U.S. Highway 301, Wimauma, Florida 33598.

They distribute food from a number of sources: For example, the Pantry purchases food from Feeding Tampa Bay with funding provided by countless individuals in this community and several philanthropic organizations. Donations are also received weekly from Publix, Aldi’s, Costco, and other local markets.

In addition, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) — a Federal program under the umbrella of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including the elderly, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.

Everyone who works at Our Lady’s Pantry is a volunteer, including our directors. No one receives a salary.

Our Lady's Pantry traces its beginnings to 1999 when the Knights of Columbus of Prince of Peace Catholic Church, and their wives, first provided food for families in the vestibule of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Migrant Mission Church.

In 1999, the Pantry served about 25 families a week; today about 200 families come for food on alternate Saturday mornings. That's an average of 400 different families from Sun City Center, Balm, and Wimauma every two weeks. In all, more than 1,500 households are currently registered at Our Lady’s Pantry.

Tom Bullaro, Director of Our Lady's Pantry, along with the team of volunteers work behind the scenes to make it all happen. Volunteer drivers get the food from Feeding Tampa Bay and other sources and bring it to the Pantry on Tuesdays and Fridays. Other volunteers then sort the food and stock shelves, a huge freezer, and a huge refrigerator.

On Saturday mornings, volunteers welcome the recipients, pack boxes of groceries, and distribute the food.

Volunteer jobs are generally divided into two groups, drivers and "everything else."

Drivers pick up food from Feeding America and other sites on Tuesdays and Fridays and deliver it to the Pantry.

The "everything else" includes:
• Sorting groceries, and stocking shelves, the refrigerator, and the freezer.
• Packing boxes for families for Saturday mornings.

Whatever time you can devote is great, whether it be just a couple of hours a week or more.

Your volunteer experience starts with a tour and explanation of the entire operation followed by an assignment to work alongside another, experienced volunteer. If you have weight lifting restrictions, you'll never be asked to lift heavy objects. Volunteers work almost as a cross between team and family with everyone "pitching in." Within three to five weeks you'll have a handle on the entire operation and be able to do any of the things needing to be done.

The Pantry also continually needs people who can identify sources of grants, audit the books, maintain the paperwork, organize food drives, and raise money.

Have a skill or talent not mentioned? Come on in and talk to us, we can probably put your heart, talent, and skills to good use.

It requires tremendous amounts of volunteer support to run Our Lady's Pantry. It could never be done without volunteers who give two or more hours of their time to the Pantry.

If you’d like to volunteer or have questions, either drop by on Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning or scroll to the bottom of this page and complete and submit the form.

More specific details about the jobs follow:

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