Bread for Life Food Pantry expands to meet growing need

Bill Nachman - Posted on Mar 26, 2014 - 02:14 PM

The Bread for Life Food Pantry, Inc. held a fifth anniversary celebration March 19 that included the official opening of an addition to its Gloucester C.H. facility.

 Bob Quinzel, the program’s executive director, said that 1,142 different households representing 4,558 people (including 1,552 children) came to the pantry, located on the grounds of the Church of St. Therese on Main Street, in 2013. Last year, the volunteer staff handed out more than 512,000 pounds of food.

The facility’s original pantry was 759 square feet, Quinzel said, and the new portion has added 448 square feet. The total of 1,207 square feet provides space for a large freezer, acquired after saving for four years, Quinzel said, and lots more space to store donated food as well as adequate space to distribute it.

Needy persons can come to the pantry once a week, Quinzel said, with a computerized system in place to track clients’ usage and make sure they don’t come for help more than once a week. Food distribution is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the pantry, with 30 or more volunteers contributing about 200 hours total in the pantry each week counting sorting and pickup of food.

“Bread for Life is a community food pantry serving our brothers and sisters who are in need of food,” a brochure said. “We serve with love and compassion to express the living words of Christ in our world today. Bread for Life is an equal opportunity provider.”

The addition now provides space for the pantry to offer a “Client Choice” program, Quinzel said. After checking in, clients have their choice of frozen meats, fresh produce, canned and dry goods, dairy products, bread, assorted pastries and sweets.