MESA’s Food Pantry is open 9 hours a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) to serve those in need of food in our community. One full-time staff member, supported by many dedicated volunteer pantry helpers and food pick-up drivers, devote hundreds of hours receiving, sorting, and storing thousands of pounds of food.
The Food Pantry strives to offer healthy options like low-sugar, low-sodium canned goods and cereals. Fresh produce and eggs are received from local farmers and from larger chain food stores in the area. However, the largest and most consistent donations come from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, local churches and community members. MESA benefits from several food drives coordinated by the U.S. Postal service, local schools, and others in the community.
The Food Pantry provides personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, and diapers, which are not available for purchase with food stamps.
During the summer, the Pantry offers bag lunches to school-aged children that normally receive free breakfast and lunch at school. Since the program began, MESA has given out over 1,800 summer lunches.
On average, MESA’s Food Pantry serves around 6,385 individuals and 2,830 households a year.