The Madison Emergency Services Association (MESA) food pantry serves more than 300 families per month—that’s more than 600 people. The pantry can hold up to 7,500 pounds of food at maximum capacity.
The pantry tries to offer healthy options like low-sugar, low-sodium cereals. Fresh produce and eggs are normally received from local farmers but they also receive produce and non-perishable items from larger chain food stores in the area. However, the largest benefactors are local churches and community members with generous monthly donations.
The MESA food pantry also provides personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, tooth paste, deodorant, diapers and feminine products which are not available for purchase with food stamps.
During the summer, the pantry offers lunch bags containing juice, a snack and a non-perishable meal that could be cooked in a microwave to school age children that normally receive free breakfast and lunch at school but lose the free meals during the school’s summer break. Since the program began, MESA has given out over 1,000 lunch bags.
Donations are accepted anytime MESA is open:
|9 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday|
Families who are not already clients of MESA can come to the food pantry to check eligibility and register for assistance.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that distributes federally supplied commodities such as canned and frozen food to eligible households. Eligibility in this program is based on recipient income; distribution is limited to one time per month per family. *from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank website
On the fourth Saturday of every month, MESA gives this USDA food to its eligible recipients at Beth Carr Baptist Church on Ruth Rd in Madison, Va. If you do not know if you are eligible, you can come to MESA to find out and to enroll in the program.