The Calvary Food Pantry opened in April of 2009 in an effort to help local residents in need of food. Members of Calvary Episcopal Church felt called to organize and open the Food Pantry, but it has grown to become an effort that is sustained by the whole Fletcher community. In addition to Calvary Episcopal, local churches, businesses, schools, service organizations philanthropic groups, and individuals make the Food Pantry possible.
In 2011, the Food Pantry was incorporated as a non-profit organization. “The Calvary Food Pantry is a great ministry to South Asheville and Henderson County. Deerfield has been affiliated with the Episcopal Church for nearly 70 years and we are thrilled to be able to support such an amazing mission,” said Bob Wernet, President/CEO, Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community.
Michelle Wooley, director of contributions at Deerfield, “We are very aware that the COVID virus has heightened food insecurity issues in our community. Deerfield is so thankful that we are able to support Calvary’s Food Pantry as they work hard to provide for Buncombe and Henderson county families in need.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new and different population of clients with many new friends needing help. Beginning the first week of January until Sat. Aug.29, 2020 the pantry has served 3,141 households and 11,026 individuals. Dedicated volunteers participate each month, with shelving, packing boxes, delivering donations to the pantry and on Saturdays greeting clients with boxes of food. The goal is to provide at least half a week’s provisions per weekly visit. The Pantry strives to provide 45-50% of a family’s needs in fruits, vegetables, and grains, 25% of its milk, and 90% of its protein.
“The continuing support of the Deerfield community allows the Calvary Food Pantry to be more fully prepared to meet the challenges of this current moment. Calvary and our partners are committed to the ongoing work of ending food insecurity for families in Buncombe and Henderson Counties.” said The Rev. J. Clarkson, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. Calvary Episcopal Church Food Pantry, Inc. is designated as a “very large” food pantry as scored by MANNA Food Bank, and an authorized distributor of federal SAM and Henderson County TEFAP food. On average, it provides 3530 meals weekly.
In March of this year, the Food Pantry moved from a cramped and inadequate space in the Calvary Parish Hall to a new, separate building on Calvary Church’s campus. The new building is intended to enhance the Food Pantry’s ability to provide additional nutritious food to clients. In the current moment, it is being used to prepare emergency food boxes that can be safely delivered to clients’ vehicles without physical contact. “As soon as possible, we intend to return to our client choice model, where families have the opportunity to select the food they actually want to eat – or need for dietary reasons,” said Food Pantry Executive Committee President Marilyn Bradt. “Deerfield’s contribution helps ensure we continue to serve our clients with dignity and respect.”
The Calvary Food Pantry is open to anyone in need of food on Saturdays between 8:30 am and 11:00 am.