Monday, August 2, 2010

The Limelight - Seven Loaves Food Pantry

Did you know that there are over 50,000 people living in poverty in Collin County? Seven Loaves Food Pantry was started at St Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano just over a year ago, in partnership with North Texas Food Bank and Plano ISD, to ensure that these poverished Collin County residents have the nutrition they need. In 2010, the pantry expects to feed up to 20,000 people.

Seven Loaves serves residents of all Collin county zip codes – 2/3 of residents served are the working poor and the remaining 1/3 have been laid off from work. Some once made six figures. Basic grocery items are provided to individuals and families as a supplement to their monthly needs. At an average cost of 28¢ per pound of food, Seven Loaves is able to maximize the value of every donated dollar.
Today the pantry serves about 250 people a week, half of which are children. Education around nutritional diet is an essential part of both the food pantry’s program. Participants learn about cost effective healthy choices and how to apply those choices to their lives.

Eligible individuals and families are able to obtain healthy food as a grocery supplement once a month, along with one week’s worth of healthy snacks for each child under the age of 18 in the family. One-time emergency food is also available without regard to residency.

The food pantry is open from 4-7pm on Thursdays and recently opened on Saturday mornings from 9am to noon, in order to meet increased demand.

In addition to the main food pantry, the organization also manages several projects throughout the year to tackle the poverty and nutrition issues within the county.

This summer, Seven Loaves Food Pantry partnered with Junior League of Plano and North Texas Food Bank to provide fresh lunches daily to 100 at-risk children in Plano and McKinney who would most likely go without meals during the summer months. Volunteers, including members of Young Men’s Service League and National Charity League in Addison and Plano, prepared meals on site, while Junior League of Plano delivered and distributed the meals.

Over 2,000 children will benefit from the current school supply drive. In addition to pantry clients, the school supply drive will benefit children at Metrocrest Social Services and Wesley-Rankin Community Center.

Food 4 Kids is a program that Seven Loaves offers for Plano ISD students during the school year, in partnership with the North Texas Food Bank. Hundreds of Plano ISD students go home on Friday and may not have anything to eat until they return to school on Monday. The Food 4 Kids program allows qualifying elementary-school children to take home backpacks each Friday filled with healthy food in kid-friendly containers. Through this program, Food 4 Kids provides weekend food supplements to over 1,000 students each month.

For more information on Seven Loaves Food Pantry, volunteer opportunities, or items needed, please visit, email or call 469-385-1818.

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